Split Rock Trail to Lithia Park 7-24-20

Photos by Jerry

We had ideal weather as we started our long hike off FS20 at the Split Rock TH. Although smoke from the Badger fire obscured our view of Mt. Shasta the temperature at 8:30 at 6,500' was in the 50s with a slight breeze.

We'd been scouting and planning this hike for several months and were excited when we finally got to Go Day. There were five of us in the group, Rich, Liz and Jerry who had also done the 15-miler on Memorial Day, and new joiners Bob Hutton and Mike Sanson.

The Split Rock trail itself runs for 3.1 miles although we all thought it was longer since it took us two hours to reach the junction with Wagner Butte trail and Wagner Glade trail. We did, of course,make a few stops along the way to view wildflowers. The winners of the day were the giant Monument plants and a new flower Liz found which we are calling the Split Rock Penstemon.

And there were a lot of questions for Geologist Bob about how all those giant Granite boulders came to be split. Also there were several hills to climb, including McDonald Peak at near 7,200', followed by steep downhills that we had to take slowly.

At the trail junction we said goodbye to Mike who had decided to do the 6+ mile out and back. The remaining four headed down the forested Wagner Glade trail for 2.3 miles and a descent of 1,900' to FS2060. In the Glade we came across blooming Tower Delphiniums and past bloom Bear grass.

We stopped for our lunch break just off 2060 on the Potlicker trail. We had gone 5.5 miles and still had another 9+ ahead. But we would continue our downhill trend from the Glade all the way to Lithia Park. From a high near 7,200' atop McDonald we would descend to 2,200' in Upper Lithia.

Potlicker is a 0.5 mile windy trail descending 700' through a forest that includes Sugar Pines and their big old cones. It deposited us onto Horn Gap Road. A gentle shaded abandoned road mostly level with lots of flowers on the sides. After 4.4 miles on Horn Gap we connected again with 2060 for our final 3.7 miles down to Lithia.

Jerry proved to be our hero when we got back to our cars as he shared his cooler full of cold Pepsi and Coke. We reached the end of our long hike just before 4 pm and cut 35 minutes off our previous time. We had hiked 14.8 miles and with temps now in the 80s we were starting to get a little tired.

It was a great day, Happy Trails
Rich Stickle

Track download: McDonald Peak to Lithia Park 7-24-20.gpx

Ashland Hiking Home

Z00.5 FS20 to Lithia Park hike(a) .jpg
Z00.5 FS20 to Lithia Park hike(a) .jpg
Z00.6 Screen capture of @14.2 mile hike in Lithia Park.jpg
Z00.6 Screen capture of @14.2 mile hike in Lithia Park.jpg
Z01 We met early in Lithia Park for drive up to FS20.jpg
Z01 We met early in Lithia Park for drive up to FS20.jpg
Z02  Scanty parking at TH. Pick your roadside spot.jpg
Z02 Scanty parking at TH. Pick your roadside spot.jpg
Z03 Handome 4some(plus Jerry at camera).jpg
Z03 Handome 4some(plus Jerry at camera).jpg
Z04 2020-07-24 0909  Sign infor.jpg
Z04 2020-07-24 0909 Sign infor.jpg
Z05 2020-07-24 0909  McDonald Pk will be first stop.jpg
Z05 2020-07-24 0909 McDonald Pk will be first stop.jpg
Z06 2020-07-24 0931  The kids at play on McDonald Pk .jpg
Z06 2020-07-24 0931 The kids at play on McDonald Pk .jpg
Z07 2020-07-24 0938 OK guys. Just one pic.jpg
Z07 2020-07-24 0938 OK guys. Just one pic.jpg
Z09 2020-07-24 0938  Off to split rock.jpg
Z09 2020-07-24 0938 Off to split rock.jpg
Z11 2020-07-24 1011  Split Rock was a tangled mess to mount.jpg
Z11 2020-07-24 1011 Split Rock was a tangled mess to mount.jpg
Z12 2020-07-24 Split Rock passage.jpg
Z12 2020-07-24 Split Rock passage.jpg
Z14 2020-07-24   Wagner Gap in the distance.jpg
Z14 2020-07-24 Wagner Gap in the distance.jpg
Z15 2020-07-24 our flower expert in flower wonderland.jpg
Z15 2020-07-24 our flower expert in flower wonderland.jpg
Z16 2020-07-24 Mike decides to turn back at Wagner Glade Gap.jpg
Z16 2020-07-24 Mike decides to turn back at Wagner Glade Gap.jpg
Z17 View from damp meadows in Wagner Glade.jpg
Z17 View from damp meadows in Wagner Glade.jpg
Z17.5 2020-07-24 Whoops - more flowers.jpg
Z17.5 2020-07-24 Whoops - more flowers.jpg
Z17.6 And more and more.jpg
Z17.6 And more and more.jpg
Z18 2020-07-24 Horn Gap Rd at @6 miles.jpg
Z18 2020-07-24 Horn Gap Rd at @6 miles.jpg
Z19 2020-07-24 Road debree.jpg
Z19 2020-07-24 Road debree.jpg
Z21 2020-07-24 Occasional views of our Siskiyou Rim.jpg
Z21 2020-07-24 Occasional views of our Siskiyou Rim.jpg