Friday Moderate Hikes for March 2024

Last Revision 3/28/24

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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.

Hike canceled - forecasted cold and wet weather conditions
March 1: Snark and Bandersnatch trails in the Ashland Watershed
TH: Drive through Ashland Plaza, south on Winburn Way, then Granite Street. At 1.5 miles, veer left for a hairpin turn around the swimming reservoir. Take Glenview Drive 0.2 miles to parking area with the Bandersnatch sign. Description: Hike begins at the Waterline gate next to parking area. Walk along the Waterline for 0.1 miles, and then continue right on the Snark Trail.  The Snark trail climbs along Ashland Creek.  Continue climbing to the Bandersnatch trail, with a side option of doing the Gryphon Loop.  Return via Bandersnatch to the TH.  The Snark – Bandersnatch hike is 3 miles with over a 400’ climb. Gryphon will add another mile and additional climbing. Bring rain gear and a snack. We will cancel if there is heavy rain.  Tell us if you are coming so that we can send updates. Trails map. Weather forecast.

March 8: Snowshoe – Deadwood and Canal Trail 
Meet at Rite Aid by 8:50 so we can arrange carpooling
TH: Follow DIM 22 miles to the Deadwood Sno-Park (junction with FS Road 37). A Sno-Park permit is required for each car (passengers should help pay for it). Park on Road 37 near the berm of snow where road is closed and covered with snow. EDT: 45 minutes. Description: Climb up the berm to the groomed snow track (Road 37) and follow it to an intersection with the canal. Turn right and snowshoe along the canal to a small bridge area. Return the same way. We will snowshoe for about 4 miles. Bring lunch and plenty of water, sunscreen, warm clothing and a water proof/resistant coat in case of some precipitation from sky or trees. Howard Prairie SNOTEL. Fish Lake  SNOTEL. Weather Forecast. RT mileage: 50 miles.

March 15: Moon Prairie Snowshoe. Meet at Rite Aid by 8:50 to arrange carpooling.
TH: Follow DIM 22 miles to the Deadwood Sno-Park (junction with FS Road 37). A Sno-Park permit is required for each car (passengers should help pay for it). Park on Road 37 near DIM. EDT: 45 minutes. Description: Cross DIM from the Sno-Park and head south along Moon Prairie Road.  Snowshoe up the road and go right at the junction. We will snowshoe for 1.5-2.0 miles and then return the same way. Options: All will trek in 1.5 miles for a 160’ elevation gain RT. Some may stop for lunch there whereas others may continue on up the hill for another ½ mile adding another 200’ elevation gain RT. If we split, at least 3 hikers stay together for safety. Distance 3 or 4 miles (elevation gain 160’ or 360’ elevation gain). Fish Lake  SNOTEL. Weather Forecast. RT mileage: 50 miles.

March 22: Ashland Watershed - Snark and Bandersnatch with a Grypyhon Loop option. Meet at the Ashland trailhead at 9:00 AM.
TH: Drive through Ashland Plaza, south on Winburn Way, then Granite Street. At 1.5 miles, veer left for a hairpin turn around the swimming reservoir. Take Glenview Drive 0.2 miles to parking area with the Bandersnatch sign. Description: Hike begins at the Waterline gate next to parking area. Walk along the Waterline for 0.1 miles, past gate, and bird sculpture, to the Bandersnatch trailhead on the left. Trail switchbacks up 0.6 miles to a picnic table and vista. Continue down and across a bike trail and then some switchbacks up for about a mile; pass lower Red Queen and bear right either (a) to the Snark/upper Red Queen intersection to take Snark, or (b) continue further up Bandersnatch to take an out and back on Gryphon. For either, return to Bandersnatch and then down the Snark trail back to parking area.  Distance is 3-4 miles.  The option with the Gryphon Loop is about 1,000 elevation gain/loss or without the option is around 450’. Trails mapWeather forecast.

March 29: Toothpick Trail to Lewis Point Depart Rite Aid Parking at 8:30 AM
TH: Turn right onto Ashland Street (Highway 66) and then a left at the first stoplight onto Tolman Creek Road. Drive up Tolman Creek Road 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 out on a stunning ridge via Gyre and Gimble trails to the picnic bench at Lewis Point.  There are views of Mt. Ashland, Mt. McLaughlin and down to Ashland.  Distance: 4 – 5 miles, elevation gain: 500 ft.  Weather forecast. RT driving mileage: 10 miles.