Scheduled for Fridays, year-round, the Moderate Group is one option under the Ashland Hiking Group. It is for those who need or desire a lightly paced, shorter hike than is customary in the other AHG options. These hikes feature an easy pace for 4-6 miles (occasionally 7) and typically under 800’ elevation gain. Winter snowshoeing distances and elevation gains will be less.
We take a leisurely lunch break to socialize and sometimes share a short poem or other form of inspiration (voluntary but welcomed). On the trail, we stay together for safety and enjoyment. If a hiker wants to stop short of the destination, at least one fellow hiker will join. We recommend a hiking pole or two, and sturdy hiking boots. When driving a distance, we may have a voluntary post-hike experience in the area or on our return drive. Bring lunch, plenty of liquids, sunscreen, hat, and basic first aid items. Seasonal items include bug repellent, raincoat, winter attire and snowshoes.
Leave the Rite Aid parking lot on Ashland Street at 8:30 AM (unless informed otherwise for a given hike). Plan a full day, unless the hike location is close to Ashland. Carpooling is by personal choice, arranged at Rite Aid parking. All hikers must sign a liability waiver, provided by the hike leader, before their first hike with an Ashland Hiking Group, which covers liability for any of the AHG hike options.
While the Covid 19 Pandemic is with us, hikers must be fully vaccinated and bring masks for use when close to others or indoors, and while driving together in an enclosed vehicle.
August 12: Sky Lakes via Cold Springs TH Depart Rite Aid Parking at 8 AM
TH: Take DIM to Highway 140, turn right (east) for 3.2 miles to milepost 41 (sign to “Cold Springs Trail Head”). Turn left (north) onto Road 3651 for 10.1 miles on a dusty road to the Cold Springs TH at road end for parking. EDT: 75 minutes.
Description: Hike 0.6 mi to a fork and take a left onto Cold Spring Trail for 1.8 mi to the intersection with South Rock Creek and Deer Lake Trails. Turn right onto South Rock Creek trail for 0.3 miles. Turn left onto the trail to Lakes Natasha, Elizabeth, and Isherwood (0.6 miles). We will have lunch at one of these lakes and then return the same way to the Cold Springs trailhead and cars. Hike distance: 6.6 miles, elevation gain 400 feet. Weather forecast. RT driving distance: 110 miles.
August 19: Grizzly Peak Depart Rite Aid Parking at 8 AM
TH: Drive DIM (Indian Memorial Highway) 6½ miles; turn left on Shale City Road and then turn left onto the road leading to the Grizzly Peak Trailhead: 3 miles on pavement, 2 miles on gravel with some potholes. EDT: 30 minutes;
Description: Hike through the woods with some uphill climbing, remarkable views, and arrive at a high rocks overlooking Ashland for lunch. Trail is a lollipop loop: 5½ miles; elevation gain: 1,200 feet.
Meet Friday morning at Rite-Aid, Ashland, at 7:50 am to arrange rides. Departure will be at 8:00 am. Pack lunch and water and bring 1 or 2 hiking poles for the rocky trail sections. Weather forecast.RT mileage: 30 miles.
August 26: High Lakes Trail toward Lake of the Woods: Depart Rite Aid Parking at 8 AM
TH: From Rite Aid on Highway #66, turn left onto DIM Road for 22 miles to Forest Service Road #37. Turn left on FS 37 for 8 miles to reach Highway 140. Turn right (east) on Highway 140 and drive 4.2 miles to see sign for Summit Sno-Park parking. Turn left into the Summit parking area; toilets available. EDT: 60 minutes.
Hike description: Hike a short distance on a ‘spur’ trail from the parking lot to junction with PCT. Turn left and hike down to meet Highway 140. Cross the highway to continue on the PCT a short distance to its intersection with the High Lakes Trail (expect initial road noise and some hikers and bikers). Turn left toward Lake of the Woods. The trail climbs 1.7 miles along the edge of a lava flow to the Cascade Summit with views of Mt. McLoughlin. Hike another 0.5 mile or so as the trail descends into more shaded areas for lunch along the trail (note: it’s another 3 miles to Lake of the Woods]. Return the same way. Hike distance: ~5.2 miles, 400’ elevation gain. Weather forecast. RT driving mileage: 70 miles.