Our Guidelines and Instructions:
Covid19 precautions: Fully vaccinated hikers; Masks handy for proximity to others; Carpooling by personal choice (share gas $); post-hike Refreshments outside.
Leave from the Rite Aid parking lot on Ashland Street promptly at 8:30 AM unless otherwise indicated in a specific hike description. Plan for a full day, unless remaining close to town. Hikes will be easy/light moderate (6-7 miles when at lower elevations and limited climbing; otherwise, closer to 5 miles). Easy pace. Stay together for shared safety and enjoyment. Bring lunch, lots of liquids, sunscreen, bug repellent, hat). A pole or two, recommended. Feel free to bring a short poem or other form of inspiration to share at lunch, if you like.
Our Friday Hikes have 3 features (expectations): Moderate pace, Mutual support (by staying together), and Peaceful trail conversation focused on observations and information about our surroundings.
TH = trailhead; EDT = estimated drive time; RT = round trip mileage; PCT = Pacific Crest Trail; DIM = Dead Indian Memorial Highway. Coordinators: Elisabeth Zinser, 541.646.6109 and Kay Simmons, 202-870-3404.
July 9: Mt. Ashland: To Grouse Gap on PCT PLUS Nature Trail Art Beyond Installation by Schneider Museum:
Depart Rite Aid at 8:30 am:
TH: Take Mt. Ashland exit 6 off I-5; turn right on Mt. Ashland Ski Road. Drive short distance beyond ski lodge and park. First, we’ll walk the Mt. Ashland Nature Trail where the Schneider Museum has one of its ART BEYOND installations. Talented artists have created works we’ll view along the Trail. Second, we’ll find the PCT crossing a short distance down a forest road and hike southwest on the PCT to Grouse Gap; turn left and walk about ¼ mile along the road to Grouse Gap shelter for lunch. Return the same way. Distance (both trails) total about 5 miles RT; elevation gain about 400 feet. Weather forecast. Art Beyond: https://sma.sou.edu/exhibitions/artbeyond2021/
The Installation on the Mt. Ashland Nature Trail: https://sma.sou.edu/exhibitions/mt-ashland-art-beyond-2021/
July 23: Sky Lakes via Cold Springs. Depart Rite Aid Parking at 8 am
TH: Take DIM to 140, right (east) for 3.2 miles to milepost 41 (sign to “Cold Springs Trail Head”). Turn left (north) onto Rd. 3651 for 10.1 miles to the TH at road end. EDT 75 minutes; RT distance: 110 miles.
Description: Loop trail into the Sky Lakes Wilderness passing first on a dusty trail through the recovery of the forest after the 2017 fire and reach the predominantly wooded area with a half dozen lakes. From the parking area, we enter for 0.6 mi to a fork and take a right on South Rock Creek Trail for 1.8 mi to the isthmus between the Heavenly Twin Lakes. There we can look northward to see Luther Mountain and Devil’s Peak. We proceed for 0.4 mi along the shore with the larger Heavenly Lake on our left, and turn left at its far end on the Isherwood Trail for 0.8 mi to Isherwood Lake. Continuing another 0.6 miles, we pass between Elizabeth Lake and Natasha Lake. We have lunch at one of these lakes. Continuing on the loop, we find a junction just beyond Natasha Lake and make a right for 0.3 mi and then fork left onto Cold Springs (do not turn right to Deer Lake and PCT crossing) and hike another 2.4 mi back to our cars.
Hike Distance: 7 miles, elevation gain 400 feet. Weather forecast.