Rhyolite Point (Southwest Oregon) 15-Apr-2020

Keeping with local, short, and simple (but interesting) brought us to Rhyolite Point on the edge of the Soda Mountain Wilderness for a four mile hike. From a pull-out on the road to the Pilot Rock trailhead, we went south (which is really NOBO) on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for a bit, then cross-country over Rhyolite Point (Point 5401 on the map), then down and along the PCT to a viewpoint for Mount McLoughlin, then back along the PCT to the trailhead. Except for three hikers who passed us on the PCT (at a distance since we were off-trail looking at flowers), we were alone for the day.

Some of the south facing slopes along this route are now warm enough, and still wet enough, to host some of our favorite early blooming wildflowers, such as Yellow Bells. Although clouds from a passing (dry 😦 ) front messed with the big views, the resulting diffuse light was ideal for wildflower photos. Plus The LovedOne hadn’t been to the point. So win-win during another three hour parole from the incessant drumbeat of the Big V.

Along the PCT
Yellow Bells (Yellow Fritillary)
Low Larkspur
Oregon Fawn Lily
Sweet Alyssum
Grass Widow
One of the 5 species of Paintbrush in Southern Oregon
The LovedOne on Rhyolite Point, with Mount Ashland in the distance and a grocery coupon in hand
The cloudy view south from the Point: (1) Goosenest, Mount Shasta (center), (2) Black Mountain, Black Butte (arrow), (3) Mount Eddy, (4) China Mountain
Mount Shasta
Spreading Phlox (white variant)
Spreading Phlox (lilac variant)
Dwarf Hesperochiron
Shelton Violet
View to the north from the PCT: (1) Mount McLoughlin, (2) Brown Mountain
A Junco aside the PCT
A subtly colored lizard eyes the Junco
Back along the PCT
Today’s track: (1) Rhyolite Point, (2) Rhyolite Ridge, (3) Mount McLoughlin viewpoint on the PCT, (4) Pilot Rock Trailhead

This blog has been, and will continue to be, about our hikes and other adventures (when we can do them again). This does not mean that we are blind to all the hurt being dealt throughout the world by the Big V. 😥 We aren’t. But there’s little we can do about that nasty little piece of partially animated protein 😡 except try to keep it away from us (as the chance of it killing us is not negligible) and others. We also recognize that mostly dumb luck has landed us in a place where the Big V has not had (and hopefully never will have) a big presence and where going outside is still possible and allowed. For these things we are truly grateful. That said, our little hikes will continue, both for our sanity 🙄 and (hopefully) for vicarious enjoyment by others across the webiverse. 🙂

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6 comments

  1. The season here got off to a good start with early storms that set a solid base. Then the weather sputtered and coughed and did little but spit some skimpy snow – but mostly above 6,000 feet or so. Now we’re stuck in a D2 drought (as is Colorado south of you) and that looks like it until next winter. 😦 So if you have untapped weather mojo, please summon it to give us a late season storm! 🙂

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  2. Thanks for enjoying our little tales. I actually got the Rhyolite Ridge idea from Sullivan. I too noted that the “trail” has gotten more distinct lately but then most of it was an old road before. So better a trail on an old road than a bunch of use trails wandering all over. There’s also a register (glass jar) on top of Point 5401 so we weren’t the first ones there either. Thanks for the info on Point 5321. I used part of the old road you mention for a loop involving Scotch Creek with a climb over Point 4881, southeast of Point 5321. Good views from 4881 but 5321 sounds easier to reach for better views – it’s on our list now. 🙂

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  3. I was there the same day – you have made the Rhyolite Ridge trail so popular that it has become a real trail. I regret that a little, but it’s inevitable I suppose. I went south a short distance on the Lone Pilot trail, to the trail that takes off to the east from there at the large rock cairn. I hesitate to tell the whole world, but Point 5321 just south of Pilot Rock has a spectacular view and is reachable with very little cross country effort. About 100-200 yards after the rock cairn, there’s an old logging road to the left (hard to spot) that goes gradually southeast to the saddle just north of Point 5321, and you can easily work your way along the ridge to the summit. You can even make a loop out of it. Happy hiking! I enjoy reading your adventures – inspires me to explore new places.

    On Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 8:13 AM BOOTS on the TRAIL wrote:

    > Boots on the Trail posted: ” This blog has been, and will continue to be, > about our hikes and other adventures (when we can do them again). This does > not mean that we are blind to all the hurt being dealt throughout the world > by the Big V. 😥 We aren’t. But there’s little we can d” >

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