Friday, June 16, 2017

Revisiting a Favorite: Ashland, OR

We've stayed in Ashland, OR twice before and loved every minute of our time in this beautiful area just a few miles north of the California border (2013, 2014). This past week was no exception. Once again we stayed at Emigrant Lake County Park and enjoyed seeing the lake almost full; we've always stayed here in the fall when the lake is very low due to summer irrigation needs. (My campground review.)

We started our week off right with happy hour at Caldera Brewing, just a couple miles down the road from the county park.

Tasty brews at Caldera!

Lithia Park is always on our "must see" list when we visit Ashland. We just missed a riot of rhododendron blooms, but the creek and the gorgeous plantings in this 100 acre park are always a delight.  The park is especially stunning in the fall.

Not even a cold, wet morning could keep us away from Lithia Park.

So many lovely scenes in the Japanese Garden.

Thanks to former Ashlanders' Laurel and Eric for the tip on the Jacksonville Woodlands Trails. We got in a nice five mile hike through forested, rolling terrain, then a walk through the sweet town of Jacksonville.

Many of the forests in SW Oregon are full of madrone trees and lots of poison oak.
This particular Madrone was the largest we've ever seen!

Jacksonville is a historic tourist town, with some beautiful old buildings and a variety of nice shops to browse.

Historic Jacksonville, OR.

There's a large network of trails that can be hiked right from Ashland. The Oredson-Todd Woods Trails begin in a neighborhood on the south end of town and climb, often steeply, the lushly forested hillsides.

I think this is the largest mushroom we've ever seen!

This beauty posed just for us!

Living yard art.

Our most interesting hike of the week was a section of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Starting at Little Hyatt Reservoir about 15 miles from our RV park, we hiked south on the PCT and added on the Green Springs Mountain Loop for a total of about 7 miles (map). The route took us through forests of pine and oak with scatterings of spring flowers and a couple of incredible view sites.

On the PCT bridge over Keene Creek as it leaves Little Hyatt Reservoir.

The forest was full of spring flowers including masses of these sweet little beauties.

Though most of the trail was through lush forest, a couple of times we broke out to long distance views of Mt Ashland, and Emigrant Lake.

There were some really exquisite flowers blooming at this time of year!

On the drive home we had an exceptional view of 9,495 ft tall Mt McLoughlin over Hyatt Prairie Reservoir.

We've moved on to Myrtle Creek for a month of family time on the banks of the South Umpqua River.

Our back yard view for the next month.


  1. I love Ashland! Lithia park is amazing. Did you take in any Shakespeare plays while you were there?

    1. No plays during this stay. It is such a pretty little town!

  2. It really got cold while you were there! Beautiful pics of your hikes - love the shot of Mt McLoughlin. I think Howard Prairie is my favorite view in the area. That mushroom is ginormous!!!

  3. One year we need to make a point to visit Ashland. Everyone's photos are so inviting. Love that mushroom! Glad you used your hand for some perspective. That is amazing!! How sweet that the mountains showed itself:) Have a great month of family time:)

  4. So glad you had another great time in Ashland. I just wish we could have been there to do some hiking with you! One of the things we love about Ashland is all of the hiking in town and nearby. I enjoy seeing our favorite hikes through your beautiful photos—that was an enormous giant puffball you found on the trail!

  5. You are pushing the "envelope" going so far north this time of year... but I enjoy vicariously, no raincoat needed :). Push on, Pals.
    Box Canyon Mark, Ouray, Colorado

  6. I must get to Oregon to explore. Im sure its beautiful with all the fall colors, but I have to say, the greens sure are appealing! So pretty! Cant beat that back yard view for the a month! Enjoy...

  7. I would also like to revisit Ashland for a longer time and follow the trails you have taken. Lithe Park in fall was really gorgeous and springtime is not too bad either.