Mild Fall weather was with us all day as we visited the headwaters of the Upper Rogue River and capped the day with a bonus visit to National Creek Falls.
From Ashland, we stopped to pick up hikers in Medford and Prospect and arrived at the Crater Rim viewpoint and the TH at 10:15. We had blue skies all day with not a hint of the Summer smoke. The temperature was in the 70s with not much shade while hiking through the remnants of the 2017 fire. Hundreds of burnt Lodgepole pines stood guard over a nursery of thousands of young pines sprouting after the fire. So the floor of the burnt forest was green with new growth.
On our way out to Boundary Springs we observed miniature Lupine similar to those seen at Grouse Gap back near Mt Ashland, and unique mushrooms as well as lots of Fireweed now broadcasting their wispy seeds in the breeze.
The Rogue becomes more wild and scenic as we near its source and our lunch spot. Hundreds of fallen logs criss-crossed the river, with some wearing green moss and past season reminders of Seep Mimulus of Monkey flower.
As we gained elevation towards lunch, the river became more dramatic with white water cascades and a split waterfall spilling over large boulders.
At lunch, you can sit on a large log and watch clear spring water rushing out from underground below your feet. Be sure to spend a relaxing lunch here as you acknowledge the wonders of nature.
On our way back, we met two young women from the National Park Service, who were tasked with setting up equipment for monitoring "10 to 12" species of bats in Crater Lake National Park.
Returning to the SUV, we drove 11 miles back down Highway 230 to the 6530 BLM Road turnoff to go view National Creek Falls. Once you travel 4 miles to parking for the falls, it's just a 1/2 mile trail down to the falls. This bonus hike is well worth the side trip as National Creek Falls are always spectacular to see. The rushing water in the otherwise quiet forest and the cooling mist from the falls are worth the short hike down. Climb across downed logs to get the best view of the falls.
On the day, we hiked 6+ miles (5+ miles out and back to Boundary Springs and another mile out and back from National Creek Falls).
Next week, being the first Monday in October, we'll do our Fall Colors hike on the Upper Rogue from Woodruff Bridge to the Natural Bridge.
come along and enjoy,