Sterling Mine Ditch - Bear Gulch TH to Wolf Gap Trail 2-15-16

Photos by Alex and Ron

As we started up the hill outside Jacksonville, we came upon a slow-moving flatbed truck carrying a large piece of equipment hidden under a tarp.  It turned left onto Upper Applegate Rd in Ruch, then left again onto Little Applegate Rd.  Sometime after that, one of our vehicles was able to pass it, but the other had to continue following it until finally the driver pulled over.  This caused a 10 minute delay in the start of the hike.

Lots of work has been done to maintain the spur trail along Bear Gulch leading up to the Sterling Mine Ditch.  Lots of signage put up too.  As we passed a private inholding on the way to the Wolf Gap spur trail, we came upon several very new, threatening no-tresspassing/keep out signs, mostly on the downhill side of the trail, but at least one on the uphill side.  Is this another attempt to take over BLM land?

By the time we got to the Wolf Gap spur trail, we had covered somewhat less than three miles, so we opted to go up this trail.  It too had been nicely cleared, and lots of blue diamond trail markers had been nailed to trees to show the way.  It was a pleasant but rather steep climb, so five of us opted to stop for lunch after about half a mile.  Sunny, however, kept on going and apparently made it all the way to the Wolf Gap trailhead before turning back.

The botanically inclined leader was gratified to see his first wild plant in bloom in 2016, a Silk Tassel tree. This species comes in distinct male and female varieties, but he did not stop to check out the sex of this one.

Ashland Hiking Home

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