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Enjoy Mt. Ashland In Summer

Enjoy Mt. Ashland in Summer

The lifts are not spinning and the snow is melting away. But there’s still a lot of fun to be had up at Mt. Ashland this summer!

Important COVID-19 Considerations

The Mt. Ashland Ski Area restrooms and water fountains are closed to the public. Please come prepared with adequate water. If you need to use the restroom, there is a public facility at the Mt. Ashland Campground, located on the south side of the mountain.

Please maintain social distancing and keep our community safe.

Hiking and Trail Running

Options for hikes at Mt. Ashland include our nature trail, the new trail to the summit, and the Pacific Crest Trail. Each offers a different experience that can be enjoyed by people of different ages and athleticism.

Nature Trail

Hiking the Mt. Ashland Nature Trail

Beginning and ending at the Mt. Ashland Lodge, the Nature Trail offers an opportunity to experience our alpine trees, flowers, and birds without very much elevation change. To start, walk past the lodge and up the Sonnet slope next to the snow fence. The trail leads up to the right, around the summit of the knoll, and back to the lodge.

Summit Trail

Mt. Ashland Lupine only grows on the summit

The trail to Mt. Ashland’s summit was completed in 2019 by the Ashland Woodlands and Trails Association. This is a fairly strenuous trail with some loose granite, so wear proper footwear. The trail begins at the U.S. Forest Service kiosk in the Mt. Ashland parking lot. Follow the trail up towards the Comer lift top terminal to get started. It will take you up to the summit, where you can enjoy endless wildflowers and, if you’re there at the right time, that will include the endemic Mt. Ashland Lupine and Henderson’s Horkelia.

To make a loop, take the road down the south side of the mountain back to the parking lot where you started. This will give an opportunity to experience different habitats and views south towards the Red Butte Mountains and the Trinity Alps.

The view of the Rogue Valley from the Summit of Mt. Ashland
A spectacular view of the Rogue Valley from the Summit of Mt. Ashland

Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) winds through the Western U.S. from Mexico to Canada. The section of PCT nearest Mt. Ashland is spectacular in summer.

There is widely dispersed spring water that seeps down the southern slopes of Mt. Ashland and right across the PCT. What results are countless different chest-high wildflowers and an aspen grove (a unique feature in the Siskiyou Mountains).

To get there, proceed through the Mt. Ashland parking lot and travel through the overflow lot. The road will turn to gravel and fork. Take the left fork and look for the trail sign on the right, about 100 yards from the Y. Park your vehicle to the side of the road and begin your hike at the trailhead on the right.

You will be in wandering through old growth forest for about a mile until the canopy opens up to a massive field chock-full of scarlet gilia, larkspur, paintbrush, columbine, and many more different wildflowers. You can go out as far as you like before returning the way you came to your vehicle.

For more information on the Pacific Crest Trail, visit our friends at the Pacific Crest Trail Association.

Bird Watching

If you enjoy watching birds, Mt. Ashland offers exceptional opportunities to do so. The mountain is situated just a stone’s throw from the botanically-rich Cascade Siskiyou National Monument.

You can either hike along one of the trails described above, or you can simply drive up to the parking lot and walk around. Mountain chickadees, woodpeckers, and others call that area home, as you will immediately see when you arrive.

And while Corvus Corax may not be on your must-see list, there is a lively group of ravens that inhabit the area. For more information (and a list of guided hikes at Mt. Ashland and other places nearby), pay a visit to our friends at the Klamath Bird Observatory.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking on the Time Warp trail at Mt. Ashland

If you enjoy mountain biking, there are a wide range of options for you at Mt. Ashland. However, it is important to note that mountain biking is not allowed on our ski slopes.

The Mt. Ashland parking lot is located about 4,500 vertical feet above the City of Ashland. One can grab a shuttle up from Ashland Mountain Adventures and then descend back to the city on a series of outstanding single trail trails built and maintained by the Rogue Valley Mountain Bike Association.

If you are interested in more of a cross-country adventure, from the parking lot continue to the south side of the mountain on the road. When the road turns to gravel, take the right fork. The road will fork once more about a mile later–take the right fork again. That is the Mt. Ashland Summit Road. Proceed up the road to the Rabbit Ears parking area (the two rocks standing erect there are the Rabbit Ears). From there, continue on the single track trail another mile to the beginning of Time Warp. Time Warp ends on the Ashland Loop gravel road (cars not allowed). You can go right or left on the road. Check other sources of information about which option is for you.

Another, more family-friendly option would be to ride the roads out-and-back behind Mt. Ashland. You can park in the ski area parking lot and proceed out Road 20 to the Grouse Gap Shelter, or as far as you like!

Camping

There is no camping allowed in the ski area proper, but there is a great campground on the south side of the mountain on Road 20 just beyond the overflow parking lot (unfortunately, the campground is temporarily closed as of 6/5/20). This is a first-come campground frequented by many, including PCT through-hikers. There are public facilities, but no running water.

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