Lightweight Backpacking After 60 in the Rogue Valley

Day Hike

Lake Siskiyou campout, Aug 27-29

Tysen, Diane, Elisabeth, Rosalie, Barb, Jo Ann, and Mary

Smoke in the Rogue Valley and northern California was so bad, we almost didn’t go. We’re sure glad we did, because, it was clear most of the time at Lake Siskiyou and on Mt. Shasta and we all had a tremendously good time.

(Lake and mountain pictures) — note: pictures will be added later

I think we all found Lake Siskiyou Resort to have its good points and bad. For example, the cancellation policy is very ungenerous, the smaller cabins are overpriced, the food at the grill is marginal, and people who come there leave litter around the shore. On the other hand, the location is excellent, there is a very nice 7 mile hike around the lake, the view of Shasta from the lake is amazing, and boats may have motors but they go about 5 mph and so are very quiet.

Jo Ann and Barb tent-camped, and Jo Ann had this to say about their experience: The tent sites are big enough to accommodate several tents and a car and offer a picnic table. Barb’s and my camp site was a 10 minute or so walk from the cabins where the rest of the group stayed. I haven’t stayed in a campground for ages and found it comfortable enough, though a bit beat up. It’s after the high season so the care of the place is likely less vigilant now than usual. Among all the delights for me one real treat was to be serenaded by a chorus of coyote both nights

On Aug 27, four of us hiked the Bunny Flat trail, about 1.6 miles of steady but not difficult uphill walking through conifer forest, starting at about 6900’ and going to 7900’. We wound up at Horse Camp, where we found a stone building, which had been constructed by the Sierra Club, a spring of pure, drinkable water, and an expansive view of the top of the mountain.

(Bunny Flat pictures)

On Aug 28, we hiked 7 miles around the lake, seeing different environments as we went, campgrounds, a dam, a bridge over a box canyon, creeks, and small sections of road.

(Lake hike pictures)

On Aug 29, on our way home, some of us hiked the Panther Meadow trail (7500-7900’), short (1.6 miles RT) but gorgeous with wildflowers and alpine trees in a meadow fed by a spring sacred to Native American tribes.

(Panther Meadows pictures)

Some of us found time to kayak, with kayaks from home. The resort rents kayaks but only from 11 am – 4 pm. Jo Ann, Barb, and Tysen went swimming, while some of us sat by the shore, talking or reading a book. Tysen and Diane enjoyed dinner at Lillie’s in Shasta city.

Speaking of Shasta City, the source of the Sacramento River flows out of a spring in a park next to the senior center. Many people come with bottles to take home this absolutely pure water. We settled for filling our water bottles. (And we missed the senior lunch!)

(Sacramento River source picture)


Soda Mountain day hike: Apr 18, 2015

Map and photos from Tysen [.pdf]

May 31, 2014: Long Gulch & Trail Gulch Lakes

Hikers: Maria G., Steve W., George H.
Distance: ~8.7 mi.; Elevation: ~2200′
Summary: Trinity Alps in May! no people; no smoke; (almost) no snow; strenuous but very enjoyable
Driving: Description: Sullivan (2nd ed.) #94 (pp.222-223); or see Planning 2014

This last-minute (announced via email) day hike was originally to Ostrich Peak (in Ashland hills); however, given a flexible group, entire day available, great weather, minimal Google Earth snow coverage, and desire to scout for a future day hike, we decided to re-route. Two years ago, we backpacked to Long Gulch Lake and camped for 2 nights. When we couldn’t locate the ridge trail (connecting counterclockwise to Trail Gulch Lake — or maybe we were deterred by elevation gain w/ backpacks), we returned to west trailhead, drove to east trailhead and dayhiked to Trail Gulch Lake. There was an unfulfilled desire to connect the dots…

So, on this day trip, we hiked the complete loop in clockwise direction (much easier to find/follow in our opinion, though there is now a sign at meadow at end of Long Gulch Lake); we preferred the ascent/descent profile clockwise from Trail Gulch to Long Gulch.

Ashland: 8am
East trailhead (5500′): 10am
Trail Gulch Lake (6410′): 1.5 mi. (at junction, we skipped 0.3 mi in/out to lake itself)
Pass above Trail Gulch (7000′): 1.0 mi. (lunch)
Pass above Long Gulch (7400′): 1.1 mi. (break)
Long Gulch Lake (6440′): 1.3 mi. (few small snow patches on trail; water break at previous campsite)
West trailhead (5265′): 3.2 mi.
Back to car at east trailhead (5500′): 0.6 mi. (uphill on road; car shuttle?); 4:30pm
Dinner at Etna Brewing Co.: 5:15pm
Ashland: 7:30pm

For those, who’d like shorter, easier in-and-out day hikes:

  • East trailhead: Trail Gulch Lake: 3.6 mi. RT; ~900′ elev. gain
  • West trailhead: Long Gulch Lake: 6.4 mi. RT; ~1200; elev. gain

Note: the two lake names have been reversed over time, which can be confusing!

  • on the East: Trail Gulch Lake (newer signs/guidebooks); Long Gulch Lake (older topos)
  • on the West: Long Gulch Lake (newer signs/guidebooks); Trail Gulch Lake (older topos) — possible mnemonic: current Long Gulch has the Longer trail.

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