Big Red 8-29-22

Photos by Jerry, Patricia and Randy

Track download by Jerry: Big Red 8-29-22.gpx

Ashland Hiking Home

Monday's encore hike to Big Red Mountain was just what the weather doctor ordered, an escape from valley heat and smoke.

We got an early start for BRM, and welcomed back Patricia from two months of social butterflying as well as Lisa and Randy. Maria also made a surprise appearance at Rite Aid and joined our group of eight.

The road up into the Siskiyous is a long and dusty 18 miles; finally coming to the T of FS22 and FS20. A right turn onto FS20 for the last 0.8 rough miles out to parking at Siskiyou Gap (5800'). Our group was glad to get out and stretch their legs after the long ride up.

The PCT takes off from parking heading uphill through shaded forest. The first half of the hike is a steady climb, so we made several stops to catch our breath and take in the views of Wagner Butte, Mt Baldy and Anderson Ridge. In the hazy distance, we could see Roxyann and the top of Mt. McLoughlin rising over Wagner Gap.

Hiking to over 7,000' we were above the smoke filling the valley from the growing Rum Creek fire.

And with blue skies overhead we enjoyed temps to the mid 70s.

Although this year's Bear Grass were past their bloom, we did get to enjoy many late season Blue Gentians along the trail.

With the summit in sight we scrambled up from the trail to our lunch spot at over 7,000'. From there we could see Mt. Ashland and Pilot Rock to the east and Mt. Shasta through haze to the south. The view to the north was sad with smoke moving into the Rogue Valley and beyond that thick smoke from Rum Creek spreading across Josephine County.

After lunch we decided to follow the BRM ridge hiking back. We went along the ridge and then down into the forest. Stopping at the beginning of the forest, Randy and Jerry split off to explore an old forest service road. I took the rest of the group down through the forest to where we met the PCT again.

We six were back at the cars just after 1 pm. Four of us stopped post hike for coffee, ice cream, sherbert and beer at the Rogue Valley Roasting Company at 8th. and Main Street in Ashland.

Note: At the time of this report, the Rum Creek fire has grown to over 10,700 acres with 0% containment. It has crossed the Lower Rogue River and may have destroyed some of our favorite hiking spots.

Next week we'll hike the PCT out to the Grouse Gap Shelter as trail south has been reopened.

Rich