Mount Ashland (Southwest Oregon) 01-Apr-2022

Mount McLoughlin dominates the eastern horizon here, but it’s Mount Ashland (7,532 ft / 2,295 m) – with its ski area and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and wildflower meadows and views – that draws the crowds. It’s summit is not as distinctly visible as McLoughlin’s but, if you can pick out a giant white ball, you’re seeing Mount Ashland.

We usually get to Mount Ashland a few times a year for snowshoeing and (later) wildflower viewing. But this winter, for reasons related to personal business and vagarities in the weather, our plans to go snowshoeing up there kept slipping and slipping and slipping. Some snow will still be there in late March and early April we said (optimistically).

But we’d overlooked the fact that the ski area got through this winter season on the strength of just one massive snow dump in December; all subsequent snow storms proved to be frustratingly inconsequential. And December’s snow was now melting away fast. Very fast.

So we didn’t even bring our snowshoes along – just our microspikes – when we drove up past the ski area to the Sno-Park (parking permits are required until April 30th – which speaks to a time when snow could be around as late as June). The ski area lifts closed early this season but there were more than a few skiers around – those willing to trudge up the slope carrying their skis or boards and zoom down on something less forgiving than deep powder.

We opted to just walk out-and-back to the summit on Forest Road (FR) 20 and the service road to the NEXRAD station. No need to do any cross-country and prematurely trample some wildflowers that will likely struggle to emerge this year.

Starting out on FR 20
To the south: Mount Shasta (1), Black Butte (2), Black Mountain (3), Mount Eddy (4)
Mount Shasta
Along FR 20 under artful clouds
To the southwest: Siskiyou Wilderness and Preston Peak (1) in California
Starting up the service road
The brave hiker smile shines through
To the northwest: McDonald Peak (1), high point of Wagner Butte (2), old lookout site on Wagner Butte (3)
Continuing up the service road
To the east: Mount McLoughlin
Striated clouds over the service road
The NEXRAD dome comes into view
To the east: Roxy Ann Peak (1), Mount McLoughlin (2), Pelican Butte (3), Brown Mountain (4)
On the summit
It was Ashland Peak when this benchmark was placed some 70 years ago
The LovedOne and Mount McLoughlin from the summit
Heading back past the NEXRAD football
Wagner Butte: (1) actual high point, (2) the old lookout site
On FR 20
Mount Shasta

So a simple, easy hike of just 4.8 miles (7.7 km) with 900 feet (274 m) of gain. But the weather – except for some high, thin clouds – was stunningly perfect for this walk: crisp, clear, sunny ๐Ÿ˜Ž, with barely a light breeze. Views for 100+ miles (160 km) in all directions! ๐Ÿ˜ We put metaphorical sprinkles on our day by having lunch at Caldera on the way home. ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿบ๐Ÿ˜‹ And that’s no fooling! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Our short – but scenic – route to Mount Ashland’s summit
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11 thoughts on “Mount Ashland (Southwest Oregon) 01-Apr-2022

  1. Glad to hear you got some moisture. Iโ€™m worried for summer. Weโ€™ve already had some small wildfires here this yearโ€ฆ

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  2. Thanks! We often get unusual or interesting cloud patterns a day or two before a storm actually arrives. We were on Ashland on Friday and a wet (much needed!) storm arrived last night. ๐Ÿ˜

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  3. Thanks! There is a trail (USFS #51938) that goes up the east side of the mountain from the lodge parking lot to the summit. It’s under a few feet of snow at the moment. We could have descended on the snow over it but didn’t want to accidentally get in the way of any of the skiers.

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  4. Thanks! Yes, the drought situation here and in NorCal is approaching crisis proportions. As we come to the end of the traditional rainy season here, all the reservoirs that feed the Talent Irrigation District – save one – are less than 20% full. And Fish Lake is only 39% full. It’s looking to be a long, dry summer. ๐Ÿ˜”

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  5. Great photos with the clouds

    But The lack of snow in S Oregon and Cal is more than worrying

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