Bolt Bountain 5-3-23

Photos by Francie

Ashland Hiking Home

We had a group of six head out towards New Hope to hike the Bolt Mountain Trail. “Bolt Mountain is situated in a geologically and biologically rich area known as the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion. The rocks, soils and corresponding plant species found on Bolt Mountain display this wealth of biodiversity. A majority of the soils found on the mountain originate from the rock serpentinite.... Over time, the rock breaks down forming serpentine soil. Unlike most fertile soils, serpentine lacks calcium, nitrogen and other vital nutrients which most plants require to grow and thrive. Serpentine is also high in heavy metals and magnesium. Plants found growing on this soil, such as the Jeffrey Pine, have adapted to tolerate these extreme conditions" [1].

The first part of the trail is relatively flat and is on Josephine County owned land. Then the trail starts to get rocky and continues up through BLM land. The wildflowers may be around a month behind in their bloom stages making the beginning of May a wonderful time for this hike. The poison oak however looks right on schedule and was growing on both sides of the trail along most of the hike.

We took a few breaks along the way to look at the views and then continued on up for lunch. We shared our lunch spot with several lizards who came out to bask in the sun. We looked out at the various mountains and saw one called Marble Mountain. I could see on my Backcountry Navigator map that there was a quarry in the side of the mountain that was visible to us. We could not pinpoint what the mountains were with snow on them. We tried using Peak Lens and Peak Finder. Possibilities were Greyback Mountain, Kerby Peak or Mount Elijah.

We headed back and Liz and I stopped for ice-cream while the others opted to return back home.


[1] Bolt Mountain Recreation Guide and map