I first hiked the then new East Applegate Ridge Trail (East ART) in late 2017. The LovedOne couldn’t join me then due to pressing fiber projects (there’s a pun in here somewhere). Today was, however, a sweet spot for her between the library and the fiber, so we were off to enjoy the East ART in absolutely perfect hiking weather. ๐Ÿ™‚ One thing I love about this trail – in addition to its great views – is its passage through a variety of our signature plant communities. Oak woodland, pine forest, madrone forest, grassy meadows, buckbrush thickets, alluringly colorful poison oak – this trail has them all.

I had hiked it as a 10-mile out-and-back from the upper trailhead, which necessitated a climb back. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But with the recent completion of the lower trailhead off Highway 238, we were able to do a shuttle and hike one-way downhill. ๐Ÿ™‚ This allowed us to focus on the wonderful views of the Applegate Valley and its surrounding peaks. And make it to Jacksonville in time for lunch. ๐Ÿ˜› Maybe not the most arduous of hikes but a heck of a good one nonetheless. And judging from the width and compaction of the tread, and the cars parked in the lots, a pretty popular one too! ๐Ÿ˜€

The LovedOne ponders the hiking instructions at the upper parking lot
The oaks were tinged with their Fall colors
The Bishop Creek drainage and the Applegate Valley
Through some towering madrones…
Then some changing oaks (to the thump of falling acorns…)
And into the open…
A lone pine along the trail
The Applegate Valley
Local peaks: Whiskey Peak (W.), Mount Baldy (MB), Ben Johnson Mountain (NB), Grayback Mountain (G), Tallowbox Mountain (TB)
The Wellington Wildlands: Wellington Butte (WB) and Mount Isabelle (MI)
Leaving the views for a pine forest
Across open ground
Bird watching along the trail
Crossing the divide into the drainage north of Buckhorn Gulch
Descending through Fall colors
Descending, with the Wellington Wildlands on the horizon
More color along the trail
The new lower parking lot ๐Ÿ™‚
Our shuttle-facilitated hike down the East ART