Grizzly Peak and Lost Creek Falls 5-24-21

Photos by Darryl, Jerry, Linda, Patricia and Randy

Monday's hike was both fun and wondrous. Predictions of pending thunderstorms never materialized as we had a beautiful Spring day above 5,000'.

14 hikers carpooled up Shale City Road to the Grizzly Peak parking area for our morning hike up to the mountain loop trail. The visibility was smoke free from our viewpoints so we could see Songer Butte at Emigrant Lake, Pilot Rock and Mt. Ashland; then in California we could see Shasta and Mt. Eddy and the China Peaks.

Closer to the ground we spotted lots of wildflowers on the trail going up and in the different environments of the loop trail. A highlight was Linda discovering Brown's wild Peonies in a sun drenched spot on either side of the trail. Unfortunately we didn't see the Giant (3-4') Delphiniums or the Wild Ginger (which Sunny calls Witch's Hat) on this hike as it is still early spring above 4,000'. We'll have to come back in June or July.

Up on top it looked like we were walking through a Christmas Tree lot as the young pines planted more than 15 years ago after the wildfire on Grizzly had now grown over our heads.

Next we reached the scenic shale viewpoints and had an early lunch while looking down on Ashland and the rest of the valley. After lunch we completed the loop on the west and north side of the mountain. The suny westside yielded lots of color with new flower sightings; and even in the shady north side we found Fawn lilies and new species near patches of recent snow.

As we completed the loop, we found some of our hikers sitting atop the Grizzly Peak summit at over 5,900'. Our Floozie was not impressed by the rock pile that makes up the peak so we decided a more apt name would be the Grizzly Pile!

When we got back to parking the group was revved for more so we drove back to the Shale City Road and took a left for the 5 mile drive to the Lost Creek Falls TH.

This short hike follows the creek through the forest to the top of the falls. It's only about 2.5 miles RT with two creek crossings each way. There is a small maze of deadfall to negotiate, but if you leave your backpack in the car you'll have no trouble getting through.

The falls are in a beautiful setting with lots of green growing on the narrow canyon walls. There are two cascades, the longer drop into a circular pool sometimes used for swimming, and the shorter drop into another pool and then into the creek.

After exploring the north rim, we formed a horseshoe with the falls in the middle for our group photo by Randy using his 12 second timer.

With both hikes we did about 8 miles of about 22K steps...if you're counting.
We returned to Ashland after 4 pm. It was a complete day of joy on the trail.

For Memorial Day, we'll do a combo hike that includes the PCT to Little Pilot Peak, then the short hike to Hobart Bluff for lunch.

All are welcomed,
Rich

Track download: Grizzly Peak Trail.gpx

Ashland Hiking Home

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