Enthusiasm was high for the hike to Siskiyou Peak when 24 of us gathered at Rite-Aid. We drove up the Mt. Ashland Road and then on FS20 to park at the Grouse Gap intersection. We headed towards California up the hill on the PCT enjoying the 70-degree weather.
Right away we spotted the rare Mt. Ashland lupine that grows in this localized region above 6,500’. Scarlet gilia, orange agoseris, sulpher-flower buckwheat, cow parsnip, and blue delphinium were just some of the blooming wildflowers in the meadows.
Steadily we climbed up through the granite rocks past multiple through hikers. Our group stretched out through dry areas covered with pink pussypaws radiating from basal rosettes of leaves. Vistas of Mt. Shasta, Pilot Rock, Mt. Ashland, and multiple hills opened.
After passing by the Meridian, we headed left off the PCT onto the spur trail towards Siskiyou Peak, ending with a rock scramble to the top of at 7,140’. Everyone perched on rocks for lunch with a 360o view. Much information was exchanged about hiking, travel, and other adventures with our active friends.
Then, we carefully scrambled down the rocks and headed back to Grouse Gap on the PCT. Much thanks to our sweep Cynthia who helped all along the way. Hiking distance: 5.4 miles RT with an elevation gain/loss of 1,050 feet.
Seven of our group had OLLI open house and other commitments early afternoon, so they started their hike at the Meridian further up FS20. They were first on Siskiyou Peak for a relaxing time of sharing travel stories.
Coming down, the two subgroups met up for a bit. Since time remained, the first group added a hike south on the PCT to see the terrain that "through hikers" travel in approaching the pass and first view of Mt. Ashland, adding another 2 miles RT to their otherwise short hike.
Kay & Elisabeth