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Hobart Bluff Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

View to Emigrant Lake and Ashland from Hobart Bluff (bobcat)
White hyacinth (Triteleia hyacinthina), Pacific Crest Trail (bobcat)
Looking to Soda Mountain from Hobart Bluff (bobcat)
The short hike to Hobart Bluff from the Soda Mountain Trailhead (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo/USFS
  • Start point: Hobart Bluff Trailhead
  • Ending Point: Hobart Bluff
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 2.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 360 feet
  • High Point: 5,502 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Mid-spring into fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes


Hike Description

Hobart Bluff is a very popular hike for local families, the bluff itself presenting a wide-ranging viewpoint for the adults and plenty of knee-scraping scrambling opportunities for the kids. The hike, an easy stroll along the Pacific Crest Trail that skirts Hobart Peak, ends with a 200-foot ascent to a rugged cliff edge on a small plateau vegetated by white-leaf manzanita, mountain mahogany, and gnarly western juniper. You can also reach Hobart Bluff (and avoid driving the potholed Soda Mountain Road) by taking the Pacific Crest Trail from its crossing of Highway 66 – about seven miles round-trip.

Begin hiking north from the trailhead across a meadow. A sign indicates this grassland is Mardon skipper (Polites mardon) habitat. The skipper is a rare butterfly with an interesting scattered distribution: the south Puget Sound area and three counties in south-central Washington, the Soda Mountain area of Oregon, and grassy headlands on the Northern California coast. After passing through oak woods, you’ll cross a meadow slope and enter white fir/incense cedar forest as you skirt the eastern slope of Hobart Peak. A path leads left to a waterless campsite on a saddle, and from this location you can bushwhack to the summit of Hobart Peak. The trail gradually heads up through an oak grassland with sprawling clumps of big root (wild cucumber). Cross a brushy slope, getting views back to Soda Mountain, to reach the Pacific Crest-Hobart Bluff Trail Junction.

Make a left here to ascend the rocky slope under a canopy of small oaks and arching ocean spray. A switchback offers a view of Soda Mountain, and then you’ll hike up a stony, grassy slope that offers views up the southern Oregon Cascades to the rim peaks at Crater Lake. Balsamroot and Oregon sunshine bloom here in spring, and you’ll pass through manzanita thickets among a few hardy mountain mahogany trees and twisted junipers. The top of Mount McLoughlin becomes visible as does the Bear Creek Valley spreading below. From the summit area, you can see Mount Shasta rising above Soda Mountain’s east ridge and Pilot Rock prominent to the southwest. Peering over the bluff’s western parapets, you can see down to shallow Hobart Lake, which is on private property.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Pit toilet at trailhead
  • Interpretive signs


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • Oregon’s Best Wildflower Hikes: Southwest Region by Elizabeth L. Horn
  • Hiking Oregon’s Southern Cascades and Siskiyous by Art Bernstein
  • Hiking Southern Oregon by Art Bernstein & Zach Urness
  • Where the Trails Are: Ashland – Medford And Beyond by Bill Williams

More Links

Page Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.