The views from the old fire lookout site at the north end of Wagner Butte make the trail to it (USFS #1011) 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!BACK TO BLOG POSTS