Lightweight Backpacking After 60 in the Rogue Valley

Cuddihy Lakes: Jul 7-11

Hikers: Esther G., Margie M., Mike S., Maria G., Steve W.

Our Thursday drive to Haypress Meadow TH on the west side of the Marbles took 4+ hours (Google&Apple maps had predicted only 3 hrs; in addition curvy and back roads, one vehicle was a camper van which likely slowed us down also). After including a couple of other stops, including Happy Camp ranger station, we started hiking after 12:30.

Our first destination: Monument Lake — 6+ miles & ~1900’ elev. gain — was an attractive lake, with 2 group sites, each suitable for ~3-4 tents. Wildflowers (see photos) were plentiful along the way.

The original remaining trip plan was

  • on Fri to backpack the remaining 3+ mi. to Cuddihy Lakes, with possible enroute dayhike to Onemile & Secret Lakes
  • on Sat & Sun, dayhike to Blue Granite & Burney Lakes
  • on Mon, backpack out ~9.2 mi. from Cuddihy.

We knew going in that there was some chance of showers Thu night, supposedly decreasing on Fri & Sat. The rain finally started Fri morning, and then continued with cloud level dropping while we spent the morning in our tents, waiting for the rain to stop for more than a few minutes. Around noon, Mike, Maria and Steve opted to pack up and hike out since they thought the rain would continue, meaning another night (or more) at Monument Lake rather than moving on to Onemile or Cuddihy Lakes. Esther & Margie decided to remain at Monument in the hope that the rain would stop, and that they could continue the trip as planned. However, on Sat morning, although the rain had stopped for awhile, they too decided to head back. So, this trip was really just to “Monument Lake” Jul 7-8/9; it will have to remain for a future BIG trip to report on Onemile & Cuddihy and other lakes in that area of the Marbles.

Future suggestions:

  • driving from CA-96 via Ti Bar to reach Haypress Meadows TH may be fewer miles, but access further south from Somes Bar to TH may be faster due to better road conditions
  • Haypress Meadows (~2 miles in, w/ little elevation gain) — could be preferable first campsite for those who’d like a shorter backpack after long drive, and to do more miles & elevation earlier the next day. After that, there are no water or campsites until reaching Monument Lake.

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