High on Wagner Butte (Talent, Oregon) 14-May-2018

Wagner Butte Ashland Oregon

The views from the old fire lookout site at the north end of Wagner Butte make the trail (USFS #1011) to it one of the most popular in the Rogue Valley.  Yet that site, at about 7,080 feet, even though it commands a great view of the Bear Creek and Rogue River Valleys, is not the actual high point on the butte. That honor belongs to Point 7255, about a half-mile to the south. So, for sometime different, I took the opportunity (The LovedOne had a library board meeting – still a volunteer but this is beginning to feel like work) to seek a true high on Wagner. So, up the #1011 to just below the point, then cross-country up to the ridge, then north along it around rock gendarmes and across sagebrush flats, to the pile of lichen-blackened rocks that is the high point. Scrambled up the rocks to find the summit spotted with clusters of swarming Convergent Ladybugs (cute little critters that I took great pains not to step on). Big views in all directions from here.  Explored the ridge a bit, then descended a brushy slope to the #1011, and returned on that (8.5 miles round-trip; 2,400 feet of elevation gain). Clear trail, no snow, and excellent weather. Going down, passed a dozen hikers of their way up!

Wagner Butte Ashland Oregon
Wagner Butte from Mount Ashland (1 = highest point; 2 = old lookout site)
Wagner Butte Ashland Oregon
Crossing the Sheep Creek Slide on the #1011
Wagner Butte Ashland Oregon
Rock gendarmes along the ridge
Wagner Butte Ashland Oregon
The summit rockpile sits in an expanse of sagebrush and sharp manzanita
Wagner Butte Ashland Oregon
Looking north: Medford and the Rogue Valley
Wagner Butte Ashland Oregon
Looking east: Mount McLoughlin
Wagner Butte Ashland Oregon
Looking south: Mount Ashland (a), Mount Shasta (s), McDonald Peak (m), Siskiyou Peak (y)
Wagner Butte Ashland Oregon
Looking west: Dutchman Peak (d), Preston Peak (p) in the Siskiyou Wilderness
Wagner Butte Ashland Oregon
A cluster of Convergent Ladybugs “converging” on the summit
Wagner Butte Ashland Oregon
Heading back
Wagner Butte Ashland Oregon
Flower longhorn beetles pollinating a trillium
Wagner Butte Ashland Oregon
My track to Point 7255

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