Cement Bluff 8-2-21

Photos by Linda and Randy

Our "hikers luck" held Monday as we were able to escape the Ashland heat and hike in good air quality.

Smoke was invading the valley as we headed south down I-5 at 8 am for higher grounds in California. 75 miles later at 9:45 we pulled into the parking lot which is shared with the Dead Falls Lake hike that we did two Monday's back. The Through Hikers coming off the trail increased from 2 to 7 as we unloaded  hiking gear and prepared for our hike.

Although we had clear blue skies with temps from the 60s to the 70s and a cool breeze from the south, our attention was on smoke billowing up to the north (perhaps west of Etna Summit). Not long after starting out we met a rare north to south hiker who told us of his harrowing experience two nights earlier with lightning striking his campsite loudly and often and causing a rock slide! He may have been camping near the site of the developing fire.

As it turned out, we didn't experience any smoky air during the hike as we were in a bowl with high mountains rising up on three sides. The 6,800'+ horseshoe hike around a deep canyon is mostly level with perhaps 200' of gain. It's 5 miles out to the breezy Cement Bluff with a view of the green Bluff Lake at the bottom of the Bluffs cliff. (There was a dirt road, viewed from above, where you could drive near the lake).

Some wildflowers viewed today were, on the road up, Darlintonia or Cobra Lily and on the trail patches of deep blue Gentian.

As we returned from our pleasant hike we noticed an ominous brown cloud from the now smoldering fire drifting towards us. At 2:45 and 74 degrees, it was time to head back north to Ashland.

Take care,

Rich

Track download: Cement Bluff 8-2-21.gpx

Ashland Hiking Home

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