Mt. Ashland Ski Road (MP 7) to Grouse Gap on the PCT

Photos by Patricia

Ashland Hiking Home

The Labor Day hike on the PCT to Grouse Gap was both surprising and very pleasant. Surprising because an anticipated small group turned into 10 hikers as my phone showed 9:00 AM. We welcomed Barry and Marilyn from Wednesdays, Phyllis who finally got a good night's sleep, and newbie Nea, a vice Principal at the Merlin middle school, escaping the Rum Creek fire smoke to join our hike.

The weather forecast was good...sunny with a high in the mid 70s; but the AQI was questionable until I Googled Mt Ashland air quality. It showed moderate air, so it was game on for the 6.8 mile out and back to Grouse Gap.

The parking was crowded off Ski Run Road but we found two spots on this busy holiday hike day. We saw many local hikers on the trail.

Smoke from the Mine fire in Weed and the Mountain fire near Etna obscured our view of Shasta, but our air was okay to breathe.

Many of the wildflowers were past bloom in the "flower bowl" but some late bloomers added color to the hike.

The Grouse Gap Shelter was occupied by two families so we had lunch on two large logs in the shade.

It was a pleasant day with mild weather and a congenial group with some making the hike for the first time.

We were back in Ashland by 2:00 PM and five of us took refreshments at the Rogue Valley Roasting Co. I ordered iced coffee with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Another great day with friends,
Rich