After a phone call to the BLM to check on the conditions of roads and trail, we set off to hike the Grizzly Peak trail just outside Ashland. It has been over 19 months since we last hiked this trail and after pulling into the parking area at the trailhead, we already noticed changes. The trailhead sign and an information board about the 2003 Antelope Fire were gone and in their place was a new pit toilet restroom. Guess that's a fair trade-off, although Glenn thinks they should have posted the Antelope Fire info on the inside of the bathroom door for reading material.
|The old trailhead sign back in 2011........|
|....and the East Antelope fire info board back in 2011.......|
|...now replaced by a pit toilet restroom.|
The first 1.2 miles of the trail take you up the hill, zig-zagging back and forth with a steady but easy upward climb. Easy that is, if the trail did not have stretches of mud due to runoff and snow melt. This made the start of the hike rather interesting as we carefully made our way through each muddy stretch, trying to avoid the skid marks of those who went before us.
|One of the uphill muddy segments of the trail|
|A muddy, but level segment of the trail with some snow.|
Once we arrived at the top of Grizzly Peak, the trail forms a 3-mile loop which can be hiked in either direction. The sign at the loop had also been replaced since our last hike, as the previous sign had two bullet holes in it. We decided to hike the loop in the counter-clockwise direction which would provide us with views of Mt McLoughlin, Mt Ashland and Mt Shasta in that order.
|The old loop sign complete with bullet holes........|
|...and the new and improved loop sign.|
The first portion of the loop featured the forest section of the peak. We encountered our first fallen tree across the trail and saw many small meadow areas still covered by snow that in Spring and Summer will feature various wildflowers. We also caught glimpses of snow covered Mt McLoughlin.
|One of many meadow areas at the top of Grizzly Peak still covered in snow|
|View of the Antelope Fire burn area|
|Yup, that is the trail -- somewhere in that mess.|
Glenn & Carol