Cathedral Hills 8-9-21

The day started with concern about the smoke situation in Grants Pass. We decided to give it a try, with a backup plan of continuing west towards the Lower Rogue. Approaching Grant's Pass, we decided the air was clear enough to hike, with most of the smoke at high elevations. 

There are three THs for Cathedral Hills, and based on a conversation with Francie, I decided to use the Espey Road entrance off of Highway 238. It turned out to be a good choice.  There are many trails in the area and I decided we would start left and continue to stay left to hike the circumference of Cathedral Hills.

The trails are incredibly well marked or you would easily get lost with many trails to choose from..There is a lot of ascent and we probably did 1,000 feet. in total. The trails wind up and down through scrub oak, madrones and manzanitas. There are good views along the way through the forest. 

Towards the end of our hike we climbed Hogsback, most of which is very steep. There is a side loop we could have taken for a few more miles. We did about 6.5 miles and 1,000 ascent so we called it a day as it was getting hotter and we also wanted to avoid any new smoke coming in. 

We returned through the Applegate and stopped at Penningtons Store for refreshments and some shopping. The car soon held jams and pies to bring home. . 

The hike greatly exceeded expectations and was a do again. I would avoid it on weekends as it is popular and close to town. You could easily create a more challenging hike of 8 or 10 miles using more of the trails. 

Ashland Hiking Home

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