Lightweight Backpacking After 60 in the Rogue Valley

Upper Rogue: Oct 19, 2013

Beginning point: Natural Bridge
End point: River Bridge
Total Miles: 8.1
Hikers: Steve W., Mary K., Dianne K., George H., Marian C.

We gathered at Mary K.’s house in Ashland at 9:00 AM and carpooled up to River Bridge on Highway 62 north of Prospect, where we again carpooled to Natural Bridge to facilitate a shuttle. Thanks to Marian and Dianne who shared their vehicles to make the shuttle happen.

We hiked south on the Upper Rogue River Trail, which closely follows the east bank of the river. Fall colors were past their prime, although dogwoods were still showing some red. Quiet pools reflected foliage. Takelma Gorge was its usual spectacular self. We saw only a few mushrooms.

Our starting elevation was just over 3200 feet. Cumulative elevation loss for the trip was 400 feet over 8.1 miles—although the distance seemed shorter. The grade of the trail was nearly level with a few steep uphill pitches and rocky sections.

We started hiking down the trail about 11:00 AM and finished by approximately 3:00 PM. We had a short lunch break at the Woodruff Bridge picnic area which was about 3.5 miles from the start of our hike. We watched a water ouzel in the river and heard others as we hiked. The weather was spectacular Indian summer at its height—temps in the late 60’s to 70’s and a cloudless Upper Rogue

vegetation mirror

Steve fall color


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