McDonald Peak (Siskiyou Crest) 21-Nov-2019

While we were up north on business, a small storm swept through Southern Oregon, leaving a few inches of snow at the higher elevations. Supposedly bigger storms are forecast for next week (or the week thereafter or whenever). But with some snow on the ground, we thought it would be fun to do a short (6 mile round-trip; 900 feet of gain) hike to McDonald Peak just west of the Mount Ashland ski area (Sno-park permits had gone into effect on the 1st so this hike started amortizing that seasonal expense). My last trips to this peak had been on snowshoes or while exploring the Split Rock Trail (which goes from Forest Road 20 to McDonald and on down to Wagner Glade Gap). The LovedOne had not been to this peak before.

From the Mount Ashland Sno-park, we went out along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and came back along Forest Road (FR) 20 (mainly to avoid the chunks of ice that were melting out of the trees). Absent a truly big storm, snow depth is bipolar at this time of year – respectable in the shade but scant to non-existent out where the sun shines. And it was shining, which took the edge off the cold, breezy air. With no flowers, mushrooms, or madrones around, I let myself get distracted by abstractions in the frozen puddles along FR 20. 🙄 We capped off the day with sustenance at Kaleidoscope Pizza, home to some truly great slices! 🙂

Going out along the PCT
Skimpy snow at Grouse Gap
Climbing the PCT to the ridge south of McDonald
It almost looked like winter on the shady side of the ridge
Mount McLoughlin from the summit of McDonald
To the west: Observation Peak (O), Dutchman Peak (D), and still snowless Grayback Mountain (G)
To the north: Anderson Butte (A) and Wagner Butte (W.), with its true high point (a) and the old lookout site (b) reached by a trail
Coming back along Forest Road 20
Ice I
Ice II
A binary in ice
Soon (hopefully) this sign will be buried in snow (Mount Shasta on the horizon)
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2 comments

  1. You know, it’s completely unfair to your readers that you don’t have the accompanying pictures of pizza (or beers, or pie). Eating is an important facet of hiking! 🙂

    1. We couldn’t agree more. Hiking is great but hiking + food (particularly pie) is superb. 🙂 I could put in food pictures but that wouldn’t leave any room for those boring landscape, lake, river, sky, etc. snapshots… 😉

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