Grizzly Peak
Mt McLoughlin from Grizzly Peak—Phil Paden

A view of Grizzly Peak. Photo by Phil Paden

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 5.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 660 feet
Seasons: April to October

Grizzly Peak, named for the last known grizzly bear in Oregon, is nothing short of amazing. The peak sits at an elevation of 5,922 feet, offering a view of the Rogue Valley and the city of Ashland. There are also amazing views of the Cascades, including Diamond Peak, Mt. McLoughlin, and Mt. Shasta in California. Be sure to do the entire loop, otherwise you risk missing some of these incredible views!

The hike itself is only 5.4 miles, but offers a variety of incredible views. The trail leads you through a forest of Douglas fir, grand fir, and other true firs, as well as a few cedars. Despite the East Antelope fire in 2002, which burned 1,886 acres of forest, this area has recovered well and has become a beautiful ground of wildflowers and mushrooms.

Wyethia angustifolia Narrow-leaved Mule's Ears—Phil Paden

Narrow-leaved Mule’s Ears (Wyethia Angustifolia). Photo by Phil Paden

At two different peaks in early June and then in July, wildflowers put on a spectacular show along different forested or open portions of the trail. The most botanically diverse part is along the area’s west side rocky outcrops that come into bloom in late May and peak by early June.  Flowers in the more shaded/forested and wet areas come into bloom in late June and peak in July. When hiking in late spring, the start of the trail may be packed with people picking morel and chanterelle mushrooms, but keep on hiking and you will soon escape this frenzy of people. Be sure to keep an eye out for elk and deer, as well as many other animals including Golden Eagles and other birds of prey.

Directions: From Medford, take I-5 S for approximately 12 miles, and then take exit 14 for OR-66 towards Ashland/Klamath Falls. Follow OR-66 E for less than 1/4 mile, then turn left onto Dead Indian Memorial Highway. Follow this road for approxiametly 7 miles, and then turn left onto Shale City Road. Continue for 3 miles, until you reach road number 38-2E-9.2, and make a sharp to stay on 38-2E-9.2. Look for Grizzly Peak trail signs and the destination will be on the left