Rodda Paint PNW

 

Just a short drive from Corvallis, Marys Peak is the tallest point on the Oregon Coast Range.  At its peak of 4097 feet, both the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains can be seen on a clear day.  The area is part of the Siuslaw National Forest, but it’s also part of a working forest, where logging roads and clear cuts show how this area is used as part of Oregon’s timber industry.

Marys Peak has 12 miles of trails that when combined with forest roads, make challenging and gorgeous runs of almost any distance, including Marys Peak 50 mile trail race.

For a 13 mile with 3000′ ascent run, start from North Ridge Extension Trail off of Woods Creek Road.  The trailhead is a little difficult to find but look for it at the intersection of Woods Creek and Old Peak Road six miles southwest of HWY 20.  This run can start from the Woods Creek trailhead just two more miles up the road, but it cuts the run down to 9 total miles.

From either trailhead, head uphill toward Marys Peak through lush moss, ferns, and second-growth forest.  The North Ridge Trail winds through Noble and Douglas Firs for 4.4 miles and over 2000 feet of loamy switchbacks.

 

The North Ridge Trail

 

Run past the tie trail with a sign to East Ridge and continue on to the Summit.  Near the summit is a parking lot and a spot to view the Cascade Mountains.  Continue through the parking lot to find the East Ridge trail, or run the Summit Loop to reach the top to add a mile and a half to the run.  Either way, follow the East Ridge trail for 2.6 miles and 1200′ of descent to the Conners Camp parking lot.

 

Marys Peak summit view of the Willamette Valley and the Cascade Mountains

 

At Connors Camp is a gate to Road 2005.  Turn left around the gate and follow the road for 3.3 miles.  The road offers more views of the Willamette Valley, several bubbling streams and two creeks that are part of the Corvallis watershed that feeds the Marys River.

 

One of several streams on Road 2005

There are several unnamed roads that connect t0 2005, so stay straight until the Woods Creek trailhead is reached.  This ends the 9-mile loop.  Continue down the road or the trail back to the trailhead of the extension trail for a 13-mile run.