Roxy Ann Peak in Winter 15-Jan-2016

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon

Roxy Ann Peak (3,573 feet) is almost literally in our backyard. The peak rises 2,200 feet above Medford and is visible from most of the Bear Creek Valley. It (and surrounding Prescott Park) is Medford’s most important viewshed, open space reserve, and recreational resource. It was the first hike we did after moving to the valley in 2014 (Roxy Ann). Within the park, you can put together its mix of established and use trails and roads to create simple hikes of between 5 and 7 miles and with 1,000 feet of elevation gain (or more).

This year – unlike the last two – storms with rain and snow have been rolling through Southern Oregon roughly every 2-3 days. Cloudless, sunny gaps between these storms are brief – often 6 hours or less – and taking advantage of them means getting on a trail quick. So, last week, when a sunny break followed a heavy snowfall, we rushed out to Prescott Park for some exercise in the sun and snow. The “trailhead” is on the park’s Entry Road. That road leads to the Loop Road that circles the peak,

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Hiking up the Loop Road

along which we saw a lot of bluebirds (it being a bluebird day and all) – who are in town for the next 3-4 months.

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Bluebird

We soon got off the service road and started up the Ponderosa Trail to the summit,

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Up the Ponderosa Trail

into a snow-encrusted forest on the northwest side of the peak,

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Up the Ponderosa Trail
Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Up the Ponderosa Trail

and around to a less snowy forest on the east and southeast side.

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Up the Ponderosa Trail

The only thing Roxy Ann Peak shares in common with Mount Defiance in the Columbia River Gorge is a collection of comm towers on its summit.

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Messages beaming from the summit

From the summit, we could look east over the low clouds of one of the valley’s signature winter inversions to snowy Grayback Mountain,

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Grayback Mountain on the horizon

to Grizzly Peak to the south,

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Grizzly Peak (G)

and, from the other side of the summit, Mount McLoughlin to the east.

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Mount McLoughlin

We then opted to take the Tower Road (there’s a trail option too) down from the summit,

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Going down Tower Road

then follow the Loop Road around the east side of the peak through the low clouds,

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Along the Loop Road

over a short piece of trail,

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
Connecting with the Loop Road

and down to the Entry Road and the trailhead. A good leg-stretch of a hike and just as well that it was close and short – within an hour of our getting back to the trailhead clouds ahead of the next storm began darkening the sky…

Roxy Ann Peak Prescott Park Medford Oregon
The gloom returneth…

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