Looking north from the viewpoint on Grizzly Peak, Oregon

Winter on Grizzly Peak (Oregon) 03-Jan-2020

Welcome to our first post of the New Year (and the new decade)! First off, we won’t be burdening you with our resolutions because there aren’t any (our contribution to the new minimalism). These noble, but ephemeral, intentions seem best at producing a January spike in diet book sales and gym memberships. So we’ll just go hiking and eat lots of plants and keep busy and not resolve to do anything special. 🙂

Which brings us to the first hike of the year. It being winter, the weather has been cranky and cloudy and damp. Today it offered an inversion fog in the valley but clear skies and sunshine above. So if we were going to work on our tans, we had to hike high. Our thoughts turned to Grizzly Peak. It’s a wildly popular local loop hike famous for offering views out over the Bear Creek and Rogue River Valleys. It’s not someplace we usually go during the crowded summer season. And, in winter, access to its trailhead at 5,200 feet is usually blocked by snow (we reached the peak on snowshoes one year).

But thus far this year, snow has been sparse (at best) below 5,000 feet and we figured we could drive to (or close to) the trailhead. And we got all the way to it, encountering only a few icy patches on the gravel road. Ours was the only car at the trailhead when we arrived. So we had the trail and sunshine and a light (suspiciously warm) breeze and the views to ourselves for the first half of our stroll around the loop. We started passing other hikers only on the way back and returned to the trailhead to find the parking area almost full. Yes, a very popular hike! The rigors 🙄 of this hike were such that we were forced – forced I say! – to stop at Caldera Brewing in Ashland for sustenance before heading home. We resolved to go on a hike like this again. 🙂

Hiking up the snow-covered Grizzly Peak Trail in Oregon
Hiking up the snow-covered trail
A view of Mount McLoughlin from the Grizzly Peak Trail, Oregon
A view of Mount McLoughlin from the lower trail
A "sun dog" halo seen from Grizzly Peak, Oregon
Part of a “sun dog” halo
Hiker approaching the viewpoint (Point 5747) on Grizzly's southwest ridge
Approaching the viewpoint (Point 5747) on Grizzly’s southwest ridge
Sun shining through snags near the viewpoint on Grizzly Peak, Oregon
Sun and snags near the viewpoint
Looking southwest from the viewpoint: Mount Shasta, Pilot Rock, Mount Eddy, Mount Ashland
Looking southwest from the viewpoint: Mount Shasta (S), Pilot Rock (P), Mount Eddy (E), Mount Ashland (A)
Looking north from the viewpoint, with fog filling the Bear Creek Valley
Looking north from the viewpoint, with fog filling the Bear Creek Valley
Hiker going through snow in an old fire scar on the north side of Grizzly Peak, Oregon
Hiking back through the old fire scar on Grizzly’s north side
Looking north from Grizzly Peak, Oregon, with snowy Grayback Mountain bracketed by snags
Clouds and the view to the north, with snowy Grayback Mountain bracketed by snags
Roxy Ann Peak (arrow) from Grizzly Peak, Oregon
Roxy Ann Peak (arrow) from Grizzly Peak
The snowy true summit of Grizzly Peak, Oregon
The tree enclosed and underwhelming true summit of Grizzly Peak
Abstract image of air bubbles trapped in ice
Air bubbles trapped in ice
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