Camassia Park Loop
To very loosely paraphrase NFL running back Marshawn Lynch, I’m all about those views, boss. I need open space. That may seem a tad ironic for a resident of heavily-forested western Oregon. Yet even when I am hiking close to home, there are spots that remind me of Colorado wildflower meadows, rocky Nevada canyons, or my beloved Mount Hood’s ridges. So it was when I went in search of Camassia Natural Area not far from home. I was intrigued because the landscape promised to be different than our typical temperate rain forests.
Millennia ago, floods scoured the small rocky bench, stripping away soil. Now the area is dotted with relatively modest white oaks and madrones. The mossy, rocky ground made the plateau seem like a mash-up of an eastern forest and alpine tundra. A well marked loop trail is an easy way to explore the park. I walked it quickly, but would love to return when I have more time. It is also possible to link this with nearby Wilderness Park. As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the most unique natural sites in the Portland area and well worth a visit.