January 2020 – Forest Park – Firelane 15 to BPA Road Loop

And so it begins! The first day of 2020 marked the start of our third year of intentionally going on at least one hike per month. Per the usual, we started in Forest Park. This time, however, we went to a more remote location and essentially made up our own loop heavily featuring Firelane 15!

You can watch the video of our hike HERE!

We started our hike at the Skyline Blvd. Trailhead — note that there isn’t an official parking lot, so you’re parking on the side of the road with other hikers. Another thing to keep in the back of your mind is that you are at elevation, so if you’re attempting to do this hike during snowy or icy conditions, I’d kindly ask that you reconsider. Plus, the road can close during winter weather events!

We had experienced quite a bit of rainfall over the prior few days and the trail was muddy but not impassable. Starting at the trailhead, there are a few hills that will take you along the power line ridge. Things level out as you pass the turn off for the Kielhorn Meadow Trail, but then you’re headed mostly downhill until the junction with the Wildwood Trail.

For our choose-your-own-adventure hike, we kept going past the Wildwood Trail on Firelane 15 until we met up with Firelane 12. We hung a sharp right onto Firelane 12 (an uphill climb) and followed it until the BPA Road, which follows the power lines.

The road quickly meets up with the Wildwood Trail, one of Forest Park’s most well-loved trails, and we followed it back to the Firelane 15 junction and then back to the trailhead. All in all, it was just over 4 miles on a gorgeous day.

Since it was the first day of the year, many people had it off and were walking their dogs or going for hikes with friends. This mish-mash of trails wasn’t nearly as crowded as last year’s first day hike up to Pittock Mansion, but that’s to be expected given the popularity of last year’s hiking trails! You can read about our Forest Park hike from last year HERE.

A few additional things to mention/reiterate:

  • No official parking lot and no bathroom at the Skyline Blvd. Trailhead.
  • There is some substantial elevation change on Firelane 15 and Firelane 12. I promise that it isn’t too much. Just take it slow and steady.
  • Dogs are allowed on the trails and some of them even allow for horses! We didn’t see any horses, or remnants of horses (if you know what I mean) ha!
  • It can and will get muddy during the rainy season, make sure you’re wearing the appropriate footwear.
  • The Kielhorn Meadow Trail (mentioned above) isn’t a thru-trail, it’s an out-and-back.

Happy Hiking and Happy 2020, friends!

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