I'd found the Hebo Mtn 16 mile hike online last year when I was trying to mileage load, but I was unable to get around to it. It's remained on my list however and it eventually dawned on me that the location of it made it only 30 minutes from the family beach cabin. Thus once my exams were over, I decided to take the dogs over to the beach and decided to fit the hike in finally!
Anna seriously loves the outdoors but I think she's pretty partial to the sandbox.
When we arrived to the Hebo Lake campsite, we parked outside the gates. (Many campsites tend to close/lock the gate in winter.) Throughout the duration of the hike we only came across a handful of individuals. One guy was training his hunting dogs at this particular campground at Hebo Lake and there were a handful of individuals fishing at the turnaround lake of South Lake.
This picture really doesn't do Hebo Lake justice, as it was really cute and made me think it would be a great location for someone who wanted a small outdoor wedding. There were several campsites and a couple of these small deck areas. The lake itself also had lots of salamanders :)
Just starting on the first mile of trail there was a long section of many different variations of vibrant green! And I absolutely loved this funny little grove of trees.
The second mile or so had more incline and a different tree variety.
Eventually we crossed a couple paved roadways and then traveled on an old wagon/jeep road stretch for a while. The directions for the hike had said it was well signed but there was at least two spots that had me scratching my head and just attempting the route to continue on. Luckily I chose the right way and didn't have to back track at any points...well minus when I came back on the return trip :)
At the lower summit of Hebo Mtn. Technically this section is not the top of the "mountain" but it was prettier and I liked the contrast of the colors here. In the photo you can see the Pacific Ocean arriving into a little bay area, plus lots of farmland between there and where we were.
The next mile of trail looked a lot like this....water running through the trail. And then there was a section of about two miles of decline that I'm pretty sure even the dogs realized they weren't going to be happy coming back up that section :) At about mile 6.5, we arrived at the top of North Lake and after calculating out travel time and daylight hours, we carried on to complete the final mileage to South Lake. We stopped long enough for the dogs to drink and then turned back. Even with that mile of incline, we made good time on the return route, so we were able to go explore the "moors" of the summit which were so enticing!
This section was so fun to check out and I would actually come back to this area to explore it further at a later date. It definitely was cold at this point with a lot of coastal wind whipping through.
On the way back down I snagged this picture of one of the confusing sections of trail. You can't really see it that well but on each side of the trail there are trees that have signs that state "trail" with an arrow pointing down the trail....except the arrows point you in opposite directions and there are no other signs around telling you anything else. :)
Altogether this hike was 16 mile round trip: 8 miles from Hebo Lake to South Lake and then 8 miles return trip. The best section of the trail was from Hebo Lake to Hebo Summit however, so technically a 8 mile day hike would be ideal here. It'd make a great backpacking trip for someone who was new to backpacking or wanting to just do a shorter trip in general.
Definitely fun to see some new terrain and get some long miles under us again!