Wolf Gap to Little Applegate Valley Viewpoint + East Applegate Ridge 10-28-22

Photos by John and Liz

  Ashland Hiking Home

We wanted to be the first AHG hikers to try out the new JackAsh Trail segment from Wolf Gap. You start out on the usual trail which heads down to Sterling Mine Ditch. After a short distance a second well-signed trail goes left up the hill and follows the ridge through the trees. Soon it emerges onto a steep slope into which a very good trail has been carved. The views are simply magnificent, unobstructed from Dutchman's Peak around to Wagner Butte. We also could see right over to Siskiyou Peak, Macdonald Peak etc. 

The rest of the hike is along this hill and those with vertigo might give it a pass. As it was, I slowed the pace so we would be extra careful. We stopped for a wardrobe change and I cautioned Joe to be careful his poles didn't head off down the hill because no one likely would opt to retrieve them.

At the end of the ridge walk the trail turns right onto a sort of peninsula, with the trail crossing the neck. It leads to an open space with a 360 degree view. Below on one side is Sterling Mine Ditch around Tunnel Gulch (about 500 feet lower elevation) and Little Applegate Road about 1000 feet below. You can't see either but it gives an an idea of the view, with the Valley far below and all 6500 feet of Dutchman's Peak behind it. There is a continuous vista of mountains around to Wagner Butte. On the other side the steep hill continues up for hundreds of feet.

It is advertised as 3 miles return but could be a bit shorter. The elevation gain is about 200 feet and I clocked the Viewpoint at 3600 feet. We made up some of our usual mileage by stopping for a hike on East Applegate RIdge, where we met Elisabeth and Kay and their multitude, and then we celebrated at South Stage Cellars. The trail is short but definitely a must see.