Friday Moderate Hikes for August 2024

Last Revision 5/7/24


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.

August 9 – Sky Lakes via Cold Springs: Depart Ashland Rite Aid Parking Lot at 8:00 AM
Directions: 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 16 – Big Red Mountain: Depart Ashland Rite Aid Parking Lot at 8:00 AM
TH: From Talent on Highway 99 take a right on Rapp Road and follow Rapp which turns into Wagner Creek Road for 8 miles to a left to remain on Wagner Creek Road which becomes Wagner Gap Road / FS-22. Continue on another 10 miles (18 miles total from the turn off of Highway 99) to the junction with FS-20. Turn right on FS-20 for 0.8 miles to the Siskiyou Gap parking in the clearing on the right. Description: The PCT winds around Big Red Mountain through cool woods and along some cliffs with a good trail. Lots of views. We’ll hike up about 2.5 miles for a nice spot for lunch, then return the same way. Elevation gain about 1,000 feet. Weather forecast. Driving Mileage: 40 miles RT.

August 23 – Crater Lake Hikes at Watchman’s Tower, Vidae Falls, Plaikni Falls, and the Pinnacles: Depart Ashland Rite Aid Parking Lot at 8:00 AM.
TH: Drive Highway 62 to Crater Lake Park entrance (show senior passes). Drive on up past park headquarters to the top where the Rim Road begins, and take a left along that road to parking on the right overlooking lake. Description: Cross the road to enter the trail for the steep grade up to the tower and displays. Enjoy magnificent views along the way and at the top. Return the same way down the mountain to the cars (2 miles RT, est. 800’ elevation). Drive back on the rim road to the main Crater Lake intersection and turn right to head back down to Headquarters, then a left onto East Rim Road. Drive to the Pinnacles, stopping for picnic lunch. We’ll visit Vidae Falls, then proceed to Plaikni Falls for a 2-mile RT hike. Then continue to the Pinnacles with some limited hiking with views of the fascinating geology. EDT: 2 hours to Rim; then an hour to Pinnacles. Total Hiking Distance: 4-5 miles RT, elevation gains total about 1000’.  Weather forecast. RT mileage: 250 miles.

August 30:  Grouse Gap to Siskiyou Peak via PCT (+ side trail) : Depart Rite Aid Parking at 8 AM
TH: Take Mt. Ashland exit 6 off I-5; turn right on Mount Ashland Ski Road to the ski area, then drive another 2 miles on FS20 to the PCT crossing at Grouse Gap to park the cars. EDT: 40 minutes.
Description: Follow the PCT 2.7 miles. Before the PCT starts to descend near the trail summit, turn left and walk up through the field and up further to the summit of Siskiyou Peak for lunch. Fabulous views. Return same way. Hiking distance: 5.4 miles RT; elevation gain of 1,050 feet. Weather forecast. RT mileage: 50 miles.