OverviewThis route starts at the Pansy Basin trailhead. I explored this route because it gave me the chance to explore the, now abandoned, Bull of the Woods Fire Lookout, which in the next few years will be renovated and entered into the National Forest’s rental inventory. This route also takes you past Big Slide Peak and Knob Peak using the main West to East ridge ending at the summit of Schreiner Peak…originally named Pikes Peak. This route is entirely in The Bull of the Woods Wilderness, so wilderness rules apply. On this route you’ll witness signs of bear (turned up rocks, scat…), coyote, and the usual small Cascade critters. The route will end by dropping into the Pansy Lake Basin back to the trailhead.
Getting ThereFrom Estacada head SE on hwy 224 to Ripplebrook. The hwy turns into hwy 46 at Ripplebrook…continue SE on hwy 46. At about 4 miles (from Ripplebrook) turn right on hwy 63.
From Salem head east on hwy 22 to Detroit Lake. At the only gas station in Detroit turn left on hwy 46 and head NW. At about 42 miles (from Detroit) turn left on hwy 63.
Take hwy 63 for about 6 miles. Take a right on road #6340 and go for another 7.5 miles where the road turns into road #6341. Go for another 3.5 miles to a large parking area. This is the Pansy Basin trailhead. There are signs to the trailhead…
Route DescriptionThe hike starts out, at 3980’on trail #551, as a leisurely stroll through a second gen old growth forest. At the .9-mile mark (400’ gain) you’ll take a left on trail #549. This trail turns into trail #550 after about a mile, which takes you south up to The Bull of the Woods Fire Lookout at 5525’. The lookout will be going through several years of renovation performed by The Sand Mountain Society as well as lots of hard working volunteers.
After a 30-minute rest at the lookout you’ll continue south on trail #550 down to trail #554. Take this trail for about ¼ of a mile and take a left on trail #555. You’ll drop steeply down a series of short switch backs for about 550’ and .6 of a mile at which point you’ll come to trails leading right or left to small local lakes (ponds). Stay on trail #555, this trail leads you past Big Slide Mountain to the end of the maintained trail. At this point you’ll want to start dropping your bread crumbs…(carry a GPS, Map & a Compass). There are a few orange ribbons marking fragments of the old abandoned trail but they are few and far apart so don’t rely on them. On this bushwhack portion of the trail you’ll pass through dense brush, open grassy slopes, over downed logs & rocky bluffs to the forested saddle between Knob Peak and Schreiner. At this point follow the ridge crest up to the summit. At the summit you’ll find a neatly stacked pile of rocks with a summit register inside at elbow deep. Please sign and if you can, take a pic and submit to the Schreiner Peak page.
On your way back try to stop by, and climb, both Knob Peak and Big Slide Mountain.
Instead of going back up trail #550 to the lookout, take the left fork, trail #558, which leads you to Trail #551, which takes you into Pansy Basin past Pansy lake and back to the trailhead.
The route totals are about 14 miles x 4900’ cumulative gain x about 9 hours. A good full day.