“A classic, must-do route in Oakridge. Lots of downhill, vast forest and stunning views.”
— Leslie Kehmeier
Alpine starts at the intersection of FS 1912 and FS 1825 and mostly climbs through classic Oregon forests to Kate's Cut-In where most people start Alpine.
Start from the road and turn left onto Kate's Cut-In. There will be a quick switchback to the right and then you'll have a short climb to the Alpine intersection. Turn left again. The trail climbs gradually through big trees to a large grassy meadow. Enjoy a brief flat section before diving back into trees, rolling towards the first sustained descent. The crossing of a short narrow ridge signifies a steep descent ahead.
This section ends at a road, cross and reach an uphill section that leads to another big downhill nicknamed 'Jedi'. This dark and steep section of forest ends at Windy Pass, a major road intersection.
From here there is a relatively short and easy climb through a new section. It ends at yet another road. From here you'll be on a rehabbed road, now a trail, that climbs through a series of surfaced 's' turns.
There's a brief respite and then the route continues to climb. The forest opens up to big trees and steep, lush, lichen-leaden side slopes to an incredible view at a high meadow. This is a great place to stop for a snack break and take in the views.
From here Alpine rolls past the Tire Mountain intersection (turn right here if hiking A-T-C-A) and then descends continuously through beautiful forest down to the Buckhead Shelter with only a few slight uphills along the way.
From the shelter, there's another round of brief climbing followed by sustained descent to a road. After crossing, you'll experience another descent, one of the the roughest on Alpine with tight turns and some scrabbly texture.
Afterward, your knees will get a break as you reach flatter terrain. The trees are beautiful through here, covered in multi-hued lichens up and down their trunks.
Stay straight through multiple road crossings then dive into a narrow trail. At the last intersection, make a hard left onto the Westfir Tie and reach the finish at the bottom of the road. Turn right to take it easy on the back to the parking lot at the red bridge.