Parsnip Lakes (Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument) 23-May-2021

The weather for our hike on the Rogue River Trail had been warm but otherwise wonderful. However, the day after we returned, the weather did a complete reversal, closing in for several days with much lower temperatures, high wind, clouds, sporadic rain, a dash of hail, and general gloom. Snow fell at the higher elevations and stuck. In the middle of May? So time was spent finishing (ha!) a DIY landscaping project, working, volunteering, and doing exercise hikes. When a nice day was forecast, we made plans to return to the trail.

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Five Southern Oregon Hikes: Not the Usual Suspects (May 2018)

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There are many wonderful hikes in Southern Oregon: From the short (Grizzly Peak) to the long (Lone Pilot Trail), from the high (Mount McLoughlin) to the low (Upper and Lower Table Rocks); from the gripping (Mount Thielsen) to the mellow (Jacksonville Woodlands).  These – and many others – are “usual suspect” hikes in that you’ll find them mentioned or detailed in almost every hiking guidebook, travel brochure, blog, or website that speaks to foot-powered travel in the southern part of the Beaver State.  We’ve hiked all of the usual suspects, often several times, but have also hiked some that are less usual, ones you don’t see discussed very often (if at all). Below are five such hikes for summer. But, fair warning, these are not “…slip on the flips, grab a half bottle of warm Pepsi, and wander into the woods…” kinda hikes; you’re going to need some stuff and, for a few of them, real navigation and off-trail travel skills too. That said, hiking these will likely provide you with a different – and probably well-earned – perspective on the natural side of Southern Oregon. It could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Continue reading “Five Southern Oregon Hikes: Not the Usual Suspects (May 2018)”

Parsnip Lakes (Cascade-Siskiyou NM) 09-May-2017

Parsnip Lakes Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Oregon

The Parsnip Lakes, located within the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, are a series of water bodies formed by natural springs and wetlands, and partially maintained by beavers. The Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa), a species in steep decline throughout its historic range, was seen here again in 2003, after having been unobserved for some 40 years.  It was recently listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. These lakes lie just to the east of Hobart Bluff, a popular local hiking destination along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).  I first saw them on the map when we were planning our March 2017 snowshoe hike along the PCT to the Bluff (post) and that got me to wondering if the lakes were hikeable.  These musings lead me to a 2011 post of a hiking loop past the lakes and the Bluff, so I sketched  out a similar route and waited for the snow to melt.

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