Under threatening skies we headed up to Grants Pass for a tour of the trail system known as Cathedral Hills. This hike was on our Monday schedule for the first time.
Though it was rainy off and on driving up from Ashland, on the trail it was a light drizzle that stopped completely after lunch.
At the Espey TH we were joined by Kate's backpacking friend, Denise, who lives in Grants Pass and became the Ashland Hiking Group's newest member. Denise, also became our impromptu guide since she hikes the Cathedral Hills quite often.
I decided it would be best for our first timers to take the Outback Loop Trail around the perimeter. It was a steady climb up to elevation with many Fall colors up on top. For more height we took the Timber Riders trail up to the Skycrest Loop Trail and stopped for lunch where we had a view of the Oak grove below.
On the way back down we met John's Monday group and visited with them for a bit.
Back at the parking lot, we said goodbye to Denise, our new hiking friend.
Post hike we stopped at the Weekend Beer Co. in Grants Pass.
On the day we hiked 5.1 miles with an 509' of elevation gain.
Note: Cathedral Hills is a pleasant spot with many trails to add miles and elevation. There's plenty of shade for warm weather hikes provided by Madrones, Manzanitas, white and black Oaks. For a more leisurely and scenic return to Ashland, turn left instead of right when Espey Road meets Highway 238 and drive down through the Applegate Valley to Jacksonville then on to Ashland.