Southern Oregon PCT (85mi) Section Hike - Ashland to Crater Lake (Part 2)

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ElementalFX
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Southern Oregon PCT (85mi) Section Hike - Ashland to Crater Lake (Part 2)

Post by ElementalFX » September 10th, 2018, 11:18 pm

Note: This is Part 2 of my southern Oregon PCT trip report. Part 1. Part 3.

From July 16 to July 28, I hiked a section of the Oregon Pacific Crest Trail from Hyatt Lake to Mazama Village, along the way passing through Brown Mountain, Mt. McLoughlin, the Sky Lakes Wilderness, and the Oregon Desert.

I brought along a tiny Flutterbat pony plush and a miniature Fluttershy figure along for the ride, taking dozens of photos of them along the trail. My goal is to eventually take her across the whole Oregon and Washington sections of the Pacific Crest Trail.






Part 2: Hwy 140/Fish Lake Resort to Crater Lake National Park (Mazama Village).


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Opening Photos: Descending down the north side of Devils Peak.







Trip Report


----Day 4----

Hwy 140 to Mt. McLoughlin Tr. Jct.
Distance: 6.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,640 feet.
Weather/Temp.: Cool and sunny


On the fourth day, I started out from the Lake of the Woods Hwy, passed by a creek (aqueduct channel), and entered the Sky Lakes Wilderness.


ImageIn around a half mile, I reached the junction with the Summit Trail.



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Small meadow on the southeast side of Mt. McLoughlin.



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Passed by this interesting-looking trident tree!



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Passed by the junction with the upper junction of the Mt. McLoughlin Trail (that goes to the summit) and camped a short ways after at the highest point that the PCT gets to on this volcano.



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Went off-trail and climbed a rockpile hoping for a view of the mountain, but found none. Then I went down cross-country to Freye Lake to re-fill on water.



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Found a wire leading down to the lake.



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Freye Lake


ImageWalked halfway around the lake on the north side. It appeared to be easier to get water from the north shore, but it is still buggy, shallow, and has a noticeable odor. After filtering, it tasted fine.





----Day 5----

Mt. McLoughlin Tr. Jct. to some random campsite NE of Red Lake and Island Lake Tr. Jct.
Distance: 12.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,040 feet.
Weather/Temp.: Hot and sunny


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It was a peaceful morning stroll through Mt. McLoughlin's east-side forests.



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Unfortunately, there are no good views of Mt. McLoughlin along the PCT portion traversing it's east flanks. This is as good as the view of the mountain will get; you can see it peeking through the trees. Unfortunate, as this side of the mountain appears to be the prettiest and features it's most rugged face. There's a glacial cirque basin off-trail above the PCT here; someday I would like to explore it.




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Once I neared the junctions for the Twin Ponds Trail and Fourmile Lake at the base of McLoughlin, the views improved. Better views of the mountain could be seen through the trees, albeit from further away.




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Fourmile Lake below, in the distance, and obscured by haze and smoke.



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The trail wandered through open forest and weather-beaten snags.



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Thousands of massive, weather-beaten, broken-top pillars gave this forest a unique and mysterious character.



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Amber-colored sap dripped from this log that had fallen across the PCT.



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More huckleberry started to cover the ground. It wasn't long before reaching my campsite for the night.






----Day 6----

Hiking over the backbone of the Sky Lakes Wilderness.
Distance: 9.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,960 feet.
Weather/Temp.: Hot and sunny



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The next day, there were quite a few blowdowns to cross.



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A precarious hanging log.



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This is a massive fallen tree! Probably the most difficult blowdown across the trail, too.




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More stick-like graveyard forests.



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As the trail wound around a bend, the views really started to open up! :D



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I passed by a sign for a "Scenic View" 300 feet away. I decided to check it out.



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Followed the viewpoint spur to the end. There were a few old blowdowns across the trail. There was a limited view through the trees at the viewpoint.



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More blowdowns.



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The PCT passed through a small wildflower patch with a variety of flowers.



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Winding around the ridge



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Nearing the crest of the Sky Lakes Wilderness



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Pacific Bleeding Heart



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To the east of the trail, Luthor Mountain loomed above. The trail then climbs up to the saddle below the peak.



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Looking down into the Snow Lake basin.



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As the trail entered the burn, the views really started to open up. The wildflowers were also putting on quite the show!



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Hundreds of Pacific Bleeding Heart along the trail, in full bloom.



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More wildflowers!



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Pink Fireweed!



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Spotted an orange butterfly getting some nectar from these flowers.



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Fields and fields of flowers!



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Fireweed



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If anyone knows of the names of all these flowers, please let me know!



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Looking down into the Snow Lakes basin



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The trail continued to follow this ridgeline, as it made its way around to the base of Lucifer Peak and Devils Peak.



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Climbing up to the saddle below Lucifer Peak.



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Lucifer Peak. The PCT rounds the east flank of the peak.



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The Flutterbat in her natural habitat!



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The trail skirted the edge of Lucifer Peak, then made its way across to its dramatic showdown at Devils Peak.



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Looking up at the walls below Lucifer Peak



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Looking back towards the Lucifer Peak saddle.



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The PCT, making its way over to Devils Peak (seen here at center.)



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Once the trail reached the saddle, it descended in a series of switchbacks. The views up to Devils Peak were absolutely mesmerizing in late evening's light.



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Once descended down at the bottom, it was only a short distance to my next campsite.



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A beautiful patch of Pacific Bleeding Heart.



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At camp, more wildflowers.



Part 3 will be posted later tonight.




http://gpsfly.org/g/8362
http://gpsfly.org/g/8364
http://gpsfly.org/g/8365
http://gpsfly.org/g/8366
http://gpsfly.org/g/8367
http://gpsfly.org/g/8368
Last edited by ElementalFX on September 11th, 2018, 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-ElementalFX
"I'd like to be a tree!" -Fluttershy
(Everfree Hikers) (Photo Spheres) (YouTube) (Map of My Hikes) (My GPS Tracks)

Chazz
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Joined: May 26th, 2013, 12:53 pm

Re: Southern Oregon PCT (85mi) Section Hike - Ashland to Crater Lake (Part 2)

Post by Chazz » September 11th, 2018, 11:37 am

Excellent photos and looking forward to reading the third installment. Was it possible to scale to the top of Lucifer Peak? It looked like the trail went just below the peak and there might have been an off-trail opportunity near the saddle.

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ElementalFX
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Re: Southern Oregon PCT (85mi) Section Hike - Ashland to Crater Lake (Part 2)

Post by ElementalFX » September 11th, 2018, 6:49 pm

Chazz wrote:
September 11th, 2018, 11:37 am
Excellent photos and looking forward to reading the third installment. Was it possible to scale to the top of Lucifer Peak? It looked like the trail went just below the peak and there might have been an off-trail opportunity near the saddle.
Thank you! Part 3 is now up. Yeah, Lucifer Peak looked to be an easy scale. Devils Peak also is supposed to be an easy scramble, but I didn't get a good perspective from the saddle.
-ElementalFX
"I'd like to be a tree!" -Fluttershy
(Everfree Hikers) (Photo Spheres) (YouTube) (Map of My Hikes) (My GPS Tracks)

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