Bandersnatch, Gryphon & Snark 3-22-24

Photos by Kay

Ashland Hiking Home

After some days of warm, sunny weather, a group of 8 hikers ventured into the Ashland watershed ready for a cooler day with the ‘promise’ of rain, which arrived as we were completing our planned hike.

As always, we recognized the blessings of living in a city surrounded with such beautiful natural habitats. We climbed up Bandersnatch switchbacks from its trailhead, past the sculptures, and to the picnic table and vista, pausing for a break. Then we followed the trail down across a bike trail and up more switchbacks to lower Red Queen.

Two of us took the Snark trail down and around along Ashland Creek and finally past the water treatment area, returning to Bandersnatch for a short distance to the cars. The others of us continued from the Red Queen intersection further up Bandersnatch to the intersection with Gryphon trail, hiking up and back down Gryphon loop before getting on Red Queen, and then the Snark trail to return down and around alongside the creek to Bandersnatch and parking.

We were thrilled to see early wildflowers, including hounds’ tongue, snow queen, scarlet fritillary, milkmaids/toothwort and probably a type of rockcress.  Some trees had polypore fungus embedded in the bark.  This fungus decomposes rotting sapwood of conifers.  Sadly, however, we saw many Douglas fir that have suffered due to drought and beetles.

We encountered drizzles off and on.  The rain held off until we were completing our hike. It was a fun morning, close to town. Elevation gain 640’ and 3 miles without Gryphon; 1,000’ and 4.5 miles with Gryphon.

Elisabeth and Kay