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.
March 3: Snowshoe at Buck Prairie: Meet at 9:45. Leave at 10:00 AM
TH: Take DIM about 18 miles to Buck Prairie #I Sno-Park. Sno-Park Permit required; passengers should help pay for it. EDT: 30 minutes. Description: Snowshoe up to the intersection with 3 trails (and an outhouse). Take the trail on the right which goes uphill for the best views (unless the group wants a lighter track with less elevation gain that also has some views). We’ll climb to a couple prime views toward Mt. McLoughlin and return the same way. Distance: 4 miles; elevation gain: 800 feet (trail to right) or 500 feet (middle trail). Weather Forecast. Howard Prairie SNOTEL. RT mileage: 40 miles
March 10: Snowshoe Mt. Ashland Ski Area above Grouse Gap to Rabbit Ears: (weather permitting). Meet at Rite Aid at 8:45 AM
Canceled - High Winds
TH: Drive up I-5, turn off for Mt. Ashland, drive up Mt. Ashland Ski Road to 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: From the ski area back parking lot follow FS 20 to intersection going to down to Grouse Gap or to Rabbit Ears (hike most groomed or trodden route); return same way. Distance: 4 miles RT; elevation gain 400 feet. NOTE: By exception, XC skis are fine if at least 2 participants prearrange to XC ski together, inform leaders in advance, and stay in touch with one of the hike leaders during the trip. Big Red SNOTEL. Weather Forecast. RT mileage: 40 miles.
March 17: Snowshoe: East side of Hyatt Lake (weather permitting) Leave Rite Aid at 9:30 AM.
TH: Drive up Highway 66 to Greensprings Inn and turn left onto road to Hyatt Lake, traveling 3 miles to the PCT road crossing and the Sno-Park directly ahead. Sno-Park permit required; passengers should help pay for it. EDT: 50 minutes. The gate of the access road to Hyatt Lake campgrounds is closed in winter. Description: Snowshoe northward toward Wildcat Campground on this closed road from the park entrance booth (closed) up about 2-2.5 miles and return same way. Undulating trail along snow-covered road with woods on either side; occasional views of the snow-covered lake. There may be tracks off of the road; if we explore one, we will stay on groomed or clearly used tracks. Howard Prairie SNOTEL. Weather forecast. RT mileage: 50 miles.
March 24: Snowshoe canceled - Heavy snow and wind