Demming Gulch to Grub Gulch to Griffin Lane on the Jack-Ash Trail 2-20-23

Photos by Randy

Track download from Randy: Demming Grub Griffin 2-10-23.gpx 

Ashland Hiking Home

We had a mix of Spring and Winter as we hiked along a near 8 mile path beginning in the Sterling Mine Ditch system and ending on a newly discovered stretch of the Jack Ash Trail.

We had a good turn out of 14 hikers drawn by either the promise of good weather or a chance to explore a new hike.

For this hike we met Jerry, Gary and Randy in Jacksonville parking again and formed a five car caravan to follow their lead through rural roads to the shuttle car drop off at 7595 Griffin Lane (and a very small Jack Ash Trail marker). Then we continued our drive to the Deming Gulch TH; u-turn and down Griffin Lane to left on Sterling Creek Road to left and up Armstrong/Deming Road to the TH.

When we finally got out and stretched we were delighted to find calm weather in the mid 40s (which was the high temperature when we first did this hike on January 31 of 2022).

Yes, it felt like early Spring on the ditch trail and we were happy to get the hike in before the predicted snow for Tuesday-Thursday. Of course, the ditch trail seems  mostly level although with a slight decline used to transport water for hydraulic mining long ago. As we meandered along the old ditch thoughts went back to the mining operations of the late 19th and early 20th century in this historic part of Southern Oregon.

As we neared the end of the ditch trail we saw the remains of shot up statues of a guard dog and a prairie dog in the woods just down from the path. It reminded us to be alert for those who communicate using firearms.

The Deming Trail ends at a locked gate, so then we make a sharp turn to the right and begin our long climb up the Grub Gulch Trail. The trail has a fairly gentle grade with several switchbacks to help with the 300' of gain. GGT was also muddy in parts with evidence of horses on the trail. But near the top of the grade we found our sunny lunch spot with views to the west of snow capped mountains and enjoyed temps in the mid 50s during our relaxing respite.

After a few more switchbacks the GGT levels out for a while then starts up on a grassy road with a surprising cover of snow and ice in the shady sections. So our spring hike went back to winter as we turned into the shade.

Our 6-mile Deming/Grub trek ended at a T- intersection when we turned left and saw a marker announcing the Jack Ash Trail. This near 2 mile section starts as a road with several active mining claims posted on the trees; then becomes a trail going up to the right into Oak woodlands to bypass private property on the road. The trail descends and crosses the road past the homesteads and continues down through the woods before finally coming out past a gate where we saw the shuttle car waiting for us.

Once we had all gathered at the end of the hike on Griffin Lane the shuttle took the drivers back to collect their cars at the TH and then back to collect their passengers.

Eight of us stopped in Jacksonville for refreshments at Boomtown.

It was an enjoyable day with a hint of early Spring.

Happy Trails,