Observation Peak Loop (Southwest Oregon) 16-Sep-2021

Significant rain is forecast for this coming weekend. Maybe (hopefully) it will be enough to squelch some of the wildfires still burning to our south and north. Or at least enough to flush the air clean of smoke. Fingers crossed this actually happens. ūüôĄ

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Dutchman Peak Loop (Oregon) 25-Aug-2016

Silver Fork Basin Siskiyou Mountains Oregon

In early June of this year, just prior to our rafting trip down the Rogue River (post), we took our friends Wayne and Diane on a short hike along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) above the Silver Fork Basin in the Siskiyou Mountains – part of a hike described by Coogle and Sathre in their  Favorite Hikes of the Applegate.  The big views we got from the exposed ridges and across the expansive meadows enticed us to do the hike again (post) later in June but this time continuing on to the summit of Observation Peak – through fresh snow dropped by an unusually cold late season storm (Thank you El Ni√Īo!). Then we came across the Ashland Hiking Group’s (AHG) description of an out-and-back hike from Observation Peak to Dutchman Peak.  A quick look at the map suggested we could connect Dutchman Peak to Forest Road 20-819 and, with a bike assist, design a hike that looped around the Silver Fork Basin, going over Observation and Dutchman Peaks along the way.

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Observation Peak (Siskiyou Mountains) 18-Jun-2016

When our friends Wayne and Diane came north¬†to join us on our recent raft trip of the Rogue River (Rogue Rafting), we looked around for a short dayhike to give them a small taste¬†of the hiking opportunities here in Southern Oregon. ¬†While doing so, we came across a delightful little guide to¬†local hikes (Favorite Hikes of the Applegate, Diana Coogle and Janeen Sathre,¬†Laughing¬†Dog Press, 2013) which described what the author’s called the “Silver Fork Trail” along the Siskiyou Crest west of Mount Ashland. ¬†If you miss the wildflowers at lower elevations earlier in the season, then the high, flower-rich meadows scattered along the crest¬†offer a chance at floral redemption. ¬†Using the Silver Fork Trail as inspiration, we took Wayne and Diane on a short out-and-back dayhike along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) to Kettle Lake, where we were greeted by a mighty frog chorus. ¬†This short hike was just a teaser and we planned¬†to return and attempt the loop described by Coogle and Sathre. ¬†We had to bide our time as some truculent El Ni√Īo-inspired weather passed through the area but then we were off. ¬†One plus of this hike is that it’s accessible on paved and good gravel roads.

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