Prospect State Scenic Viewpoint 6-8-20

Photos by Barry H., Bob H. and Elisabeth

Sometimes a small hike can yield great views and wonderful experiences. Our Monday hike in the Prospect State Scenic Viewpoint certainly fit that bill. Our enthusiastic group included Barry, Elisabeth and her visiting brother John, Bob Hutton and myself. We five set out from Ashland under cloudy skies with temps in the low 50s. 

We caravanned 42 miles up Highway 62 to the Prospect Access turnoff. As we started down the trail we could hear the Rogue River roaring and knew the falls would be full. First we came to the overlook for the 173' Mill Creek Falls. The falls were so full that it branched out and started a second ribbon fall to it's left. After lots of snapshots we walked over to the viewpoint for the nearby 242' Barr Creek Falls. Breathtaking views of the long drop into the river canyon as we climbed the square boulders of the lookout.

Next we hiked back to the main trail and turned right down to the Avenue of the Giant Boulders. We climbed out on the big chucks of basalt and down to the river with its Class 5 white water rapids. Geologist Bob said the boulders were 20,000 to 50,000 years old dating back to the Ice Age. A side trail took us over to the foundation of the site of the first hydro-electric plant for the area built in 1911.

Then it was back to the cars for the short drive up the road to the next lot and the trail to Pearsony Falls. I find this falls special because although it only drops about 15' it is split around an island and you can view it from many angles. The American Dipper bird danced on logs and shallow rapids. We viewed the falls off the trail and from a split log bridge and across the creek where we sat down for a pleasant lunch at the crest of the falls. Barry, Elisabeth and Bob put their heads together (figuratively) and identified a wildflower growing by the water as an orange honeysuckle vine.

After lunch we decided to explore the Pearsony trail running down the creek. We followed it down to a cliff overlooking the Rogue with hundreds of big boulders. Elisabeth and Bob get extra credit for wanting to explore the trail along the cliff top as it meanadered towards the top of Mill Creek Falls.

Everyone enjoyed seeing the stunning sights and our after lunch exploration was a scouting hike that added more views to this Scenic Viewpoint.

Today our friend Sunny had her hip replacement surgery. I'm sure all AHG members would like to wish her well. See you on the trail Sunny!

Rich

Ashland Hiking Home

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