Leave from the Safeway parking lot in Ashland at 9:00 AM unless otherwise indicated. Bring water, lunch, hat, sunscreen and rain gear as appropriate. TH = trailhead; EDT = estimated drive time; PCT = Pacific Crest Trail; DIM = Dead Indian Memorial Highway. 100 Hikes = 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon, Second Edition
December 3: Sterling Mine Trail - Bear Gulch TH to Little Applegate TH (p. 144 in 100 Hikes)
TH: Assuming no snow at the higher elevations we will use the Anderson Creek route. From Safeway, head up Highway 99 to a left on Rapp Road in Talent. Straight on Wagner Creek Road for 0.9 mile and then right on Anderson Creek Road for 11.4 miles to Little Applegate Road. Right on Little Applegate for 0.3 mile to the Little Applegate TH where we will drop the shuttle car and then on 2.4 miles to the Bear Gulch TH. EDT: 50 minutes. Description: Trail starts out uphill, finishes downhill. Good views of the Siskiyous to the south and coastal ranges to the west; Distance: 8.2 miles; elevation gain: 1,100 feet. Weather forecast. RT mileage: 50 miles.
December 10: Rogue River Trail, northeast from Peyton Bridge to the Prospect Hydroelectric Project for a guided tour (p.79 in 100 Hikes). Meet at 8:30. Kinda New Hike.
TH: Up I-5 to Exit 30 in Medford. Right on Highway 62 for 35 miles to a left on Lewis Road just past the Peyton Bridge and leave the hikers at the TH by the north end of the bridge. Then continue up Highway 62 for 2.3 miles to a right at the Cascade Gorge store onto Mill Creek Drive. Continue on to 1111 Mill Creek Drive to leave high clearance vehicles which will be used later for the power plant tour. Return to Highway 62 and head back to the TH to rejoin the hikers for the hike north. EDT: 60 minutes. Description: Nice walk along the river past several waterfalls. Spoiler alert: there is uphill after lunch - about 600' of climb out of the gorge at the end of the hike. We have arranged a tour of the Prospect Hydroelectric Project for after lunch. You will need to sign a PacifiCorp liability waiver for the tour and it would be helpful if you could bring your own hardhat. You can learn about the 3 powerhouses at the Prospect center here. Distance: 6.5 miles; total elevation gain: about 1,500 feet. Weather Forecast. RT mileage: 130 miles.
December 17: Snowshoe trip: Mt Ashland Ski Area to Grouse Gap TH: Closed gate on FS Road 20, just beyond the Mt Ashland Ski Area parking lot; Sno-Park permit required for drivers; passengers should help pay for it. EDT: 30 minutes. Description: Let's get ready for a white Christmas with an easy loop on the backside of Mt. Ashland. From the ski area back parking lot take FS 20 to where it forks with the service road to the Mt. Ashland summit. Head up the service road to the ridge and then follow the ridge past Rabbit Ears. Follow the contour over to where it drops down to the Grouse Gap road and head to the Grouse Gap shelter for lunch. Return via FS 20. Distance: 5.5 miles; elevation gain: around 600 feet. Mt. Ashland Ski Area Web Cam. Weather Forecast. RT mileage: 45 miles.
December 24: Applegate Lake Loop (p. 147 in 100 Hikes) TH: Take Highway 238 from Jacksonville to Ruch (8 miles); take Upper Applegate Road 15 miles to Applegate Dam; drive left across dam to French Gulch TH (1.2 miles); EDT: 60 minutes. Description: Make a loop on the Applegate Lake Trail system. Enjoy lunch on Hal's Point. Distance: 7.6 miles; elevation gain: about 1,000 feet. Weather Forecast. RT mileage: 80 miles.
December 31: Little Grayback Trail to Squaw Peak Leaving Safeway at 8:00 AM
TH: From Ruch travel south on Upper Applegate Road to Applegate Dam; follow the road across the dam for 1.5 miles; turn left for 2 miles to the French Gulch divide TH; EDT: 60 min. Description: steady climb across the southern slopes of Little Grayback to Squaw Peak; return the same way; watch out for graybacks (ticks) Distance: 11 miles; Elevation change 1,800 feet. If you don't want to go all the way to Squaw Peak there is an option to stop on the ridge at a nice viewpoint for an 8 mile / 1,300' hike. Weather Forecast. RT mileage: 90 miles