Friday Moderate Hikes for September 2023

Last Revision 8/25/23


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.

September 1--Union Creek and Falls (upstream) 

Hike canceled due to smoke levels

TH: Drive north on I-5, then east on Highway 62. Continue 1.3 miles past Beckie’s and Union Creek, veering right toward Crater Lake for another 2 miles (MP59) to find the sign to Union Creek Trail and turn right. Continue on the gravel Road 600 for 0.2 mile, bearing left onto dirt Road #610 for 0.1 mile to TH at road’s end to park. EDT=1¼ hours. Hike Description: Hike 0.3 miles across a flat area, downhill, and through low brush where the trail makes a right turn. We’ll continue for about 1½ miles along the Creek enjoying the beauty of the flow, the Douglas firs (some as big as 7’ diameter), flat-needled yews (bark was used by indigenous people to make bows and today it’s used to make cancer drug Taxol), bracken fern, vanilla leaf, huckleberry bushes, and more. We will turn around before reaching the middle section of the trail which is so densely overgrown, it’s difficult to follow the trail and less than fun bushwhacking. We’ll return the same way back up to the fork in the trail. We’ll leave the main trail for a short distance to find our way to the falls where we’ll have convenient sitting along the creek for lunch. Then, we’ll hike back to the main trail and continue up the hill and back to the cars. Distance: about 4 miles and 250’ elevation gain. Options: Return to Beckie’s or Ice Cream hut for treats, and/or hike the Union Creek Trail from TH behind Union Creek Resort upstream for ½-1 mile (RT 1-2 miles), turning around before the overgrown section. Weather forecast. RT driving mileage: 160 miles RT.

September 8--Brown Mountain Lava Flow: Depart Rite Aid at 8:00 AM
TH: Take DIM for 22 miles to Forest Service Road 37 intersection; turn left on FS 37 for 8 miles to Hwy. 140;  turn right (east); after 4.2 miles, turn left into the Summit parking area. Toilets available.  EDT: 60 min. Hike Description: Hike spur trail relatively short distance and across small bridge to turn left onto the PCT. Hike down to Highway 140 and cross road with care. Continue on PCT to intersection of High Lakes Trail and Brown Mountain Trail. Continue straight onto Brown Mountain Trail. Hike through forest and over basalt rock deposited by Brown Mtn. lava flow and stop for lunch at 2.5 miles from our starting point. Return the same way. Distance: 5 miles RT; elevation gain: about 450 feet. Weather forecast. RT driving mileage: 70 miles

September 15--Little Hyatt LakeDepart Rite Aid at 8:30 AM
TH: Take Highway 66 east to the Green Springs Inn between mile posts 17 and 18. Turn left toward Hyatt Lake for 2.9 miles to a road junction where the PCT crosses the road; park.  Follow the PCT to the left to the Little Hyatt Reservoir, enjoying old-growth trees. Continue past the dam for another 0.5 miles. Gather in the woods on the Lake shore for lunch. Return same way. The hike is 4 miles RT.  Weather Forecast. RT mileage: 40 miles.

September 22--East Applegate Ridge: Depart Rite Aid at 8:30 AM
TH: Head up I-5 to exit 24, Phoenix. Left into Phoenix and then right on OR-99. Turn left onto Stage Road then left on Griffin Lane.  In about a mile turn right onto West Griffin Creek Road for 2.9 miles which becomes Poorman’s Creek Road for another 1.1 miles to a T junction and left onto Sterling Creek Road. Go 4 miles to the 4-mile marker and the trail is well marked 100 feet past the sign. We will do an out for 2½ miles, have lunch, and return the same way. Mileage=5 miles with about 700 feet of climb. Exceptional views (absent smoke on the western horizon). EDT: 35 minutes.  Weather forecast. RT Driving mileage: 70 miles.

September 29--Pilot Rock – Babbit GapDepart Rite Aid at 8:30 am
TH: Take Mt. Ashland exit 6 off I-5; follow old Highway 99 under the freeway 2.3 miles; go left on Pilot Rock Road, drive 1 mile to PCT crossing on a rough, gravel road.  EDT: 30 minutes.
Hike Description: Walk along PCT past former Pilot Rock parking area and the spur trail to Pilot Rock; stay on the PCT to the Pilot Rock viewpoint for lunch with spectacular view of Mt. Shasta, Mt. Eddy and Pilot Rock. Return the same way. Distance: 5.6 miles; elevation gain: 955’. Weather forecast. RT driving mileage: 30 miles.