Friday Moderate Hikes for May 2023

Last Revision 5/15/23


Our Guidelines and Instructions:

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.

Leaders: Elisabeth Zinser, 541.646.6109 and Kay Simmons, 202-870-3404.

May 12: Toothpick Trail Leave at 8:30 AM
TH: Turn right onto Ashland Street (Highway 66) and then a left at 1st stoplight onto Tolman Creek Road. Drive up Tolman Creek Rodd almost 4 miles to the Toothpick trailhead on the right. EDT: 20 minutes.
Description:  Hike the heavily forested Toothpick trail to Lamb Saddle. Then take Caterpillar up to the Gyre/Gimble/Lewis Point intersection.  Turn left and walk up to a stunning ridge on the Gimble Loop.  There are views of Mt. Ashland, Mt. McLoughlin and down to Ashland.  Hike will be 4.5 – 5 miles with an elevation gain of 500’. Weather forecast.  RT mileage: 10 miles.

May 19:  Songer Butte via the Songer Wayside Trail  8:30 AM departure
TH:  Drive about 8 miles out Highway 66 from Ashland.  Turn left into the Songer Wayside parking area. Description:  Hike the trail up from the parking area along Emigrant Creek via Little Songer Butte rocks.  Continue on the trail and then turn left onto the Songer Butte trail up to the top of the Songer Butte.  Have lunch at the top of Songer Butte (2,700’) with remarkable views of the Bear Creek Valley and Emigrant Lake.  (The last part of the climb is steep, so some may not want to go all the way to the top.)  We expect wildflowers. Hiking distance will be 5-6 miles RT with about 600' gain. Weather forecast.  RT mileage: 20 miles.