Sunday, March 8, 2015

Upper Table Rock Trail

This past week we made a quick trip to the Upper Table Rock trail after Glenn got off work so that we could hike to the plateau before darkness set in.

Time for a quick hike!
When we arrived at the parking lot it was completely full of cars, but we created our own parking spot and headed up the trail by 4:00 pm.  We quickly came across some of the BLM burn areas on the lower portion of the trail.  In an effort to reduce the fire hazard, BLM came through a week or so ago and cleared out some undergrowth and brush and burned them in large piles.  Although not a pretty site when hiking, this effort will allow grasses and wildflowers to grow in these areas over the next few years.

On the hike up to the plateau we encountered at least a dozen groups of people hiking down and as a result, we were the only ones at the summit when we arrived.  Of course a few other groups soon arrived, but it was still very beautiful & quiet.  Our hike to the summit went by fast and as you can see from the picture, our legs were very long and tired!

Those are some long and tired legs!!!

There were still many vernal pools at the summit and various wildflowers were in bloom including the pretty Grass Widow.  Looks like a lot of other wildflowers were getting read to bloom over the next few weeks. We hiked across the plateau and then hiked the trail along the edge till we arrived back at the main trail.  Someone even saw some artwork on the plateau as someone took the time to arrange a group of rocks into the phrase "I love you",

One of the vernal pools still on the plateau
Grass Widow

The "I Love You" artwork

Despite wanting to stay longer, we knew we needed to start back down to beat the darkness and get home to Katie.  "No dogs allowed" on this trail although we have seen people bring their dogs on this trail before.  If you live in the Southern Oregon area and are interested in hiking Upper or Lower Table Rock, the rest of March and even early April should provide you with some beautiful flowers and beautiful views.  Get out there and enjoy.

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

Friday, March 6, 2015

Oredson-Todd Woods Trails

For our third hike in a row, we tried a new trail - or in this case, a new set of trails.

We drove to Ashland and the Oredson-Todds Woods trailhead on a beautiful sunny Sunday. We started by hiking the main trail, which is only a half mile in length and follows Clay Creek. Various trails branch off from this main trail, but we hiked the half mile to the end to see the Clay Creek waterfall. It was pretty, but had much less water than the picture they show on their website.

Carol and Katie leading the way down the main trail towards Clay Creek Falls
There is set of connecting trails that lead from the Clay Creek area up to the crest and it is known as the Creek-To-Crest trail. We didn’t follow this route, but you can by looking for the Creek-To-Crest Logo on the various trail signs.

The Creek-to-Crest trail marker.
Our main trails up to the crest were the Mike Uhtoff and White Rabbit. The key word here being UP!

We were treated to beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and Ashland as we took our frequent breaks on the upward trek. They were lots of people out today enjoying the sunshine and since these trails are dog friendly, there were many four-legged hikers too. Yes, we did bring Katie.

View from the Mike Uhtoff trail

Typical look of the trails, except most had a more uphill slant.

View of Ashland and surrounding hills

The map we had showed the Hiker-Only trails, so it was somewhat confusing when we came across the multi-use trails that did not show on our map. We managed to ask a few joggers & hikers for guidance on our way back down from the crest to Clay Creek since we wanted to take a different route but still end up in the right place.

All in all we enjoyed the new trails and after we did further research, we may go back and try a longer hike up to the crest and then work our way across the crest towards Lithia Park. That way we could hike the Alice In Wonderland trail, White Rabbit trail, Cheshire Cat trail and the Looking Glass trail all in one day. Hopefully we won’t run into the Queen of Hearts if we do.

Trekking Together

Glenn & Carol