Grizzly Peak (Ashland, Oregon) 19-Jun-2015

Grizzly Peak Ashland Oregon

It had been 18 months since we last visited one of our classic local hikes – Grizzly Peak – perched above Ashland, Oregon, with a commanding view of the Bear Creek Valley. Unlike our last visit – during what passed for “winter” over a year ago – this time we walked through expanses of thick, green grasses and annuals, having struck near the peak of the sunny wildflower season. Floral abundance was everywhere – which was kind of surprising given what a dry winter we had. We were also able to do this hike on a weekday, when this immensely popular trail is not very crowded.

The short trail to the peak was lush with vegetation right from the start;

Grizzly Peak Ashland Oregon
Starting up the trail

plants that hosted a surprising number of butterflies.

Grizzly Peak Ashland Oregon
Butterflies were everywhere

Looking up from Ashland, all you see are sunbrowned slopes, but up here at almost 6,000 feet, we were walking through meadows still green and flower-covered.

Grizzly Peak Ashland Oregon
One of the meadows along the trail
Grizzly Peak Ashland Oregon
Yellow Salsify
Grizzly Peak Ashland Oregon
Alice’s Fleabane (with visitor)
Grizzly Peak Ashland Oregon
White Brodiaea (also with visitor)
Grizzly Peak Ashland Oregon
Deltoid Balsamroot (with two pollinators)

The trail swings around the north side of the peak through an area cleared of forest by a wildfire in 2002,

Grizzly Peak Ashland Oregon
Snags and re-growth after the 2002 fire

but now sporting colorful patches of flowers.

Grizzly Peak Ashland Oregon
Passing through wildflowers and snags

From the viewpoint overlooking Ashland, there’s the obligate view of Mount Shasta,

Grizzly Peak Ashland Oregon
Mount Shasta and Pilot Rock (between branches)

but a view of the now nearly snowless McLoughlin is possible only back near the trailhead.

Grizzly Peak Ashland Oregon
Mount McLoughlin

A fun hike with great views and one short enough (5 miles round-trip; only 750 feet of elevation gain) to allow plenty of time for food and brews at Caldera in Ashland! 😀

Grizzly Peak Ashland Oregon
The Grizzly Peak Loop

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