East Applegate Ridge Trail (Southwest Oregon) 19-Feb-2022

After 5 days out-of-town sitting in cars and planes, some trail time was needed. With The LovedOne catching-up on her volunteer duties at the library, it was my call as to where boots would meet dirt. Rain and snow are (again) expected here next week – and these are no less critical now than in months past. But today was forecast to be cold (at least at first), clear, and sunny, so I decided to partake of the huge views of the Applegate Valley and the surrounding peaks available from the East Applegate Ridge Trail (East ART). As penance for all that sitting around, I embarked on an out-and-back hike from the lower trailhead.

The day turned out to be just as forecast – full bluebird with clear skies, a crisp breeze, and – once I got higher up – lots of sunshine. 😎

Early morning on the trail
Sunshine and warmth reach the trail
The Red Buttes across the Applegate Valley
The view from where the trail tops the ridge: (1) Red Buttes, (2) Burton Butte, (3) Mount Baldy, (4) Grayback Mountain and Big Sugarloaf Peak
Whimsy along the trail
Madrones and sunshine
Redstem Storksbill – one of the earliest Spring wildflowers

The East ART has become one of the most popular trails around here, what with its well-designed tread, great views, and easy access to those views from the upper trailhead. Mine was the second car at the lower trailhead when I started up and I encountered a dozen or more other hikers on my way to the upper trailhead – where the parking lot was about half full.

Starting back from the upper trailhead
A canopy of madrones
The trail contours along the ridge
The lone pine
Lots of sunshine today
The trail along the ridge
More whimsy appeared during the hike down
Milkmaids – another of the earliest wildflowers
Mount Isabelle from the trail
Contrails over the lower trail

I passed several hikers on the way down and the lower lot was almost full when I got there. A wonderful leg stretch (10.1 mile (16.3 km), 1,300 feet (396 m) of gain) on a perfect day for such a thing. 😁 It was a busy day on this trail but it never felt crowded. Now – as we’ve said before – it would be more than OK if it rained and snowed – a lot! 🥶

Out-and-back between the lower and upper trailheads (P)
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10 thoughts on “East Applegate Ridge Trail (Southwest Oregon) 19-Feb-2022

  1. We had my Mom (94!) with us, so did not hike it yet, planning to soon. It looks amazing, will see how far I get. 😂

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  2. The lower trailhead is at the end of a short, dirt road 5.2 miles on Hwy 238 from where it crosses N. Oregon St in Jacksonville. There is a small BLM sign on the right side of the road shortly before you reach the left turn into the dirt road, but no sign at the dirt road itself. The road to the trailhead shares access to 238 with a driveway on the left – keep right to reach the trailhead.

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  3. No wonder it’s become a popular trail, it looks stunning. Big views and delicate flowers.

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  4. The trailhead seems easy to get to, right on 238? Love seeing the first wildflowers.

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  5. Storksbill is sometimes Heronbill, but not Cranesbill, which is a geranium; both Storksbill and Cranesbill are in the same large family of plants, however. The storkbill refers to the seed case (‘fruit’) before it splits open to eject its seeds. Very stork-ish in looks prior to that. The plant might be a naturalized invasive. Gorgeous pics for the whole post! Hope you get deluges of precipitation.

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  6. I have no idea. Nothing about this flower looks like a bill – stork or otherwise. It’s just one of those tiny flowers with two names – the other being Filaree.

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