Porcupine Mountain from Pilot Rock Trailhead 7-3-24

Photos by Francie

Ashland Hiking Home

We had a big turn out of 12 hikers on a very warm day. We started at the Pilot Rock trail head and went for about 0.7 of a mile. We had one hiker who had not been on this hike so I explained where the PCT came in, and where the Lone Pilot trail went.

We turned north on the PCT and were very happy to be in the shade most of the way. We stopped at Babbit Gap and took in the views. From there we continued along and spotted Phantom Orchids. It lacks chlorophyll and depends on a symbiotic relationship with a fungus for nutrition. I had heard at one time that they were not a common flower to find. We lost count between 35 and 40 along the trail.

We made our way through some overgrown Thimbleberry bushes and eventually came back out into the open. There was a marker along the trail and a few feet farther along was the very faint trail to Porcupine Mountain. We all make our way up to the base of the rock. Hank, Liz and Scott decided to stay below and have lunch in the shade. The rest of us scrambled up the rock and found a shady spot for lunch.

After lunch, we took our group shot in front of the rocks on Porcupine Mountain and had Pilot Rock in the background. We then made our way back down the faint steep trail and connected back with the PCT. On our way back to the car, we encountered a very nice man on a horse and 2 PCT hikers.

We were back to our cars by 1:30pm and it was quite warm. We had hiked 8.09 miles and ascended 1,249 feet