A Brush With Vulture (Cascade-Siskiyou NM) 31-Oct-2021

Three peaks straddle the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) due east of Oregon’s Howard Prairie Lake: Brush Mountain (with north and south summits), Old Baldy, and rocky Point 6054 (known locally as “Vulture Rock“). Point 6054 was never the site of a Forest Service fire lookout, while Old Baldy hosted one between 1924 and 1961, and two sat atop Brush Mountain between 1915 and 1930. The lookout on Brush Mountain’s northern summit was probably one of the most unusual ever allowed by the U.S. Forest Service:

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Vulture Rock (Southwest Oregon) 15-May-2020

A few years ago, we were hiking north on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) north of Howard Prairie Lake when we passed a small sign aside the trail that said “Vulture Rock 0.5 mi” with an upward pointing arrow. On a subsequent walk here, we turned at this sign and embarked on a brief cross-country walk and easy scramble to the rocky summit of Point 6054 (“Vulture Rock”). There used to be a fire lookout on nearby Old Baldy but it was removed years ago and trees now obscure the views from that summit. Not so for Vulture Rock where, weather permitting, the views are expansive. Today was forecast (and turned-out to be) a bluebird day between storms so off we went to see what we could see from the Vulture.

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Hiking in the Time of Caching (November 2017)

Geocaching Upper Lower Table Rocks Oregon

Stormy, fractious, blustery, peevish, squally, turbulent, gusty, truculent, garrulous! The current political climate? Perhaps but this humble hiking blog isn’t going anywhere near that. No, it’s the change of seasons here in Southern Oregon as we move from what was a hot, dry summer into what will be (hopefully) a wet, but not too wet, snowy, but not too snowy, winter. This time of year leaves us stuck between too much rain for a long hike and too little snow to justify unleashing the snowshoes. What to do, other than binge watch Blacklist? Well, we’ve started doing some geocaching.

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Cowed Again by Point 5648 (Southern Oregon) 01-Oct-2017

Point 5648 Southern Oregon

A few days ago, I did a loop hike that included a brief visit to Point 5648, a surprisingly interesting rock formation just downslope from Vulture Rock in Southern Oregon.  My attempt to reach the spot elevation on this Point was rebuffed due to risk aversion (or common sense, one is never quite sure which), but a later look at Google Earth suggested that maybe that spot wasn’t the highest point on the formation.  Vows were made to return!  As luck would have it, today’s unsettled weather coincided with The LovedOne’s temporary release from library volunteerism to form the perfect excuse to spend a couple of damp hours conducting further explorations around the Point.  The exertions associated with those explorations would then serve as justification (as if we needed any) for a restorative lunch with beverages at Caldera Brewing in Ashland, Oregon.  So, win-win!

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Vulture Rock Loop (Southern Oregon) 28-Sep-2017

Old Baldy Vulture Rock Oregon

The promise of unsettled weather in the near future pushed us toward one more “summer” hike before we’re hit by wet and cold (and before there’s enough snow for snowshoeing!).  Thanks to the  Hike Mt Shasta website, we’d had a great hike in California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest a couple of days ago.  Although other hikes in the Marble and Russian Wilderness areas beckoned from our never diminishing list of hikes to do (our way of bringing the myth of Sisyphus to hiking), the thought of one a little closer to home (that is, one that didn’t involve a four-hour roundtrip drive) was more appealing.  Two that we’d done in 2016 about this time – Old Baldy and Vulture Rock (Point 6054) – seemed like good, close choices that could be fashioned into a loop hike.  With the LovedOne begging off to set-up (after the bomb threat had been cleared) the now monthly library book sale, I was on my own for this one.  I argued that bears and chipmunks rarely try to blow you up, but to no avail.

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Vulture Rock (Southern Oregon) 10-Nov-2016

Vulture Rock Southern Oregon

Last week we did an out-and-back hike on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) across the Dead Indian Plateau to the viewless summit of Old Baldy (post), passing a sign for Vulture Rock along the way.  “Vulture Rock” is the local name for Point 6054 and subsequent research showed that it’s the go-to spot for views along this section of the PCT.  So, of course, we had to go see for ourselves.  Unfortunately the LovedOne was busy elsewhere, so it fell to me to confront the Vulture alone (sigh).  Rather than hike north from the Keno Access Road like we did last week, I opted to mix it up some by hiking south from the Pederson Sno-Park trailhead on Dead Indian Memorial Road (USFS).  From this minimalist trailhead (no amenities other than off-road parking),

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Old Baldy on the Dead Indian Plateau 03-Nov-2016

PCT Dead Indian Plateau Oregon

On Fridays, the Mail Tribune (our local paper) publishes an Outdoor section which usually includes an account of one or more local hikes that might be of interest.  While we were driving U.S. Route 20 back from the East Coast, the Tribune came up with five nearby hikes to view Fall colors.  Four of these we’d already done but the fifth, a hike on a relatively flat section of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) across the Dead Indian Plateau, was new to us.  The paper described the attractions of this hike as …the raspberry-colored leaves of the knee-high huckleberries under the big fir-tree canopy… and …a diversity of Fall mushrooms…  After 11 days in a car, being outdoors on this hike sounded like a GREAT idea, so we went for it!

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