Friday Moderate Hikes for October 2024

Last Revision 5/7/24

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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.

October 4: Toothpick Trail to Gimble Loop: Depart Ashland Rite Aid Parking Lot at 8:30 AM
TH: Turn right out of Rite Aid parking lot onto Ashland Street (Highway 66) and then left at the 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 for a break. Then take Caterpillar up to the Gyre/Gimble/Lewis Point intersection. Turn left and climb up to a stunning ridge on the Gimble Loop. There are views of Mt. Ashland, Mt. McLoughlin and down to Ashland. Distance of 4.5-5 miles with an elevation gain of 600’. Weather forecast.  RT mileage: 10 miles.

October 11: Collings Mountain Bigfoot Trap and Prospect Overlook of Applegate Lake: Depart Ashland Rite Aid Parking Lot at 8:30 AM
TH: Drive I-5 to Jacksonville and stay on Hwy. 238 out of the City another 8 miles to Ruch. In Ruch, turn south toward the Upper Applegate area for 15.9 miles. When 1 mile past Applegate Dam, turn left into the Hart-Tish Recreation Area ($5 day use fee). Park in picnic area lot on the right. Description: Walk to a large “Applegate Lake” sign at upper end of the lot, veer left on a level trail into the woods for 0.1 mile to cross the highway and find a path that switchbacks down into a gulch and follows a mossy creek up through a forest of Douglas Fir, white pine, madrone, and bigleaf maple. Watch for poison oak. In 0.6 miles, the path splits around a dilapidated caretaker’s cabin. Take a spur trail to the left to climb up to a huge Bigfoot trap. Return to main trail and continue up 0.3 mile to a prospector’s adit (tunnel bult to find ore). Climb on up a steep grade of scrub oak and madrone for a view over the lake and lunch. Continue on a broad ridge a bit more before returning down the main trail to the cars for a 4-mile RT hike (likely about 600’ elevation gain). Weather forecast. RT mileage: 80 miles.

October 18: Enchanted Forest in the Applegate: Depart Ashland Rite Aid Parking Lot at 8:30 AM
TH: Drive through Jacksonville and take Highway 238 towards Applegate for 15 miles. Just before downtown Applegate and the bridge, make a right onto North Applegate Road for 4.5 miles to a fork where you go right on Kubli Road for 400' and then right on Slagle Creek Road for 1.5 miles to the TH at pavement end. EDT: 60 minutes. Description: Hike through the forest of Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and Madrone and cross through a meadow.  At 0.7 miles, fork right onto the Felton Trail among viewpoints and Madrone to trails end at a granite memorial for three men who died there in a helicopter crash in 1993. After snacks, return back to the Enchanted Forest trail, turn right and follow it up the creek just 0.5 miles to enjoy the preponderance of Maple leaves. We’ll not take the steep climb to the saddle. We’ll turn around and head back down the forest trail to the TH. Hike distance: 5.4 miles; elevation gain about 500 feet. Weather forecast. RT driving mileage: 80 miles. Optional: visit to Wooldridge Winery to enjoy fermented grape juice (wine; or nonalcoholic drink) and charcuterie or to Pennington Farms (to bring home pies: savory, chicken pot, dessert).

October 25: Upper Rogue River Trail from Union Creek to Natural Bridge via a “lollypop” route  Depart Ashland Rite Aid Parking Lot at 8:30 AM
TH: Take Highway 62 north from Medford towards Crater Lake, past Prospect and up to Union Creek Resort area. Park in the lot just before Becky's on the left.  Description: Follow Union Creek down to its junction with the Rogue River. Make a left and follow the Rogue River down to the Bridge to Nowhere (AHG named it). Cross the river and follow the trail on the west side up a steep grade into the woods above the river and then down to Natural Bridge. Have lunch. Then follow the path beside the river and cross a bridge over the river to follow the trail back up to Union Creek via the trail on the east side of the river. Distance: 7.5 miles; elevation gain: 500-600 feet. Weather forecast. RT mileage: 150 miles.