The rains came and flushed the smoke and damped the wildfires. But the wet didn’t kill all of them. The McCash Fire in Northern California came back to life, an arsonist started a fire near Lake Shasta, and two fires in Central California are still busy devouring some staggeringly ancient Sequoias. 😥 More rain is expected early next week. Hopefully, that will knock some more stuffing out of some of these fires. 🙂 In the meantime, we’re supposed to be getting some of their smoke – but none of that seems to have arrived yet (it would be totally fine if it doesn’t – totally fine). Right now it’s more than clear enough for a short hike before we hit the road next week.

We decided on Grizzly Peak because it was a short drive and a short hike to big views. It’s also one of the most popular hikes, along with perhaps the Table Rocks, here in the valley – it can be a zoo on weekends and even weekdays. But we got an early start and were the only car in the parking lot when we started up the trail.

Up the trail
Passing one of the big meadows
A light dusting of Fall colors
Coming around the ridge, with Mount Ashland (1) and Wagner Butte (2) on the horizon (note light smear of smoke)
Toward the summit
Remains of the summer
Amber waves
Up the prow of the ridge to the summit
On top
To the northwest: Mount Ashland (1), Wagner Butte (2), Ashland (3), Medford (4)
To the southwest: (1) Mount Shasta, (2) Pilot Rock, (3) Mount Ashland
Starting back
Sunlight and snag
And down the trail

We saw almost no one until we started back, and then the huddled masses yearning to hike arrived. The parking lot was full when we got there. So it was a good leg stretch (4.8 mi (7.7 km), 900 feet (275 m) of elevation gain) with views that we had mostly to ourselves. It was pure coincidence that we were down in time for lunch at Caldera Brewing. 🤔😁