In keeping with the necessary theme of hikes that are local and not too adventurous, we took advantage of today’s gorgeous weather to reprise a favorite snow hike to the summit of nearby Mount Ashland. The ski area there had gathered a good base despite this year’s drought, but its lodge and lifts had to close early because of the Big V. Fortunately, the area and the forest around it are still open and there is plenty of snow to muck about in.

To keep things simple, we hiked to the summit mostly on Forest Road (FR) 20 and the service road (with a touch of cross-country) and descended via the ski slopes. Although there were a few posthole moments, the snow had consolidated enough to let us do this hike in boots. And despite all the ski, snowshoe, and boot tracks we encountered, we only passed four people and saw perhaps six more at a distance while we were hiking. The loop from the Sno-Park over Mount Ashland and back is only 4 miles with 1,000 feet of gain, but it’s good exercise at altitude and the views are wonderful. It was a nice 3-hour break from the indoors. 🙂

Many tracks on FR 20
The Mount Ashland Campground (closed except for the toilets), with Mount Shasta on a hazy horizon
Toward Grouse Gap on FR 20
Going cross-country to the ridge west of Mount Ashland
Mount McLoughlin and the Crater Lake Rim from the ridge
Climbing the service road
Mount McLoughlin from atop Mount Ashland
The Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) station on Mount Ashland
Descending the ski slopes with Pilot Rock (arrow) in the distance
Mount McLoughlin from the ski slopes
And so back to the Sno-Park