Southern Oregon PCT (85mi) Section Hike - Ashland to Crater Lake (Part 3)

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ElementalFX
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Southern Oregon PCT (85mi) Section Hike - Ashland to Crater Lake (Part 3)

Post by ElementalFX » September 10th, 2018, 11:36 pm

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

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 3: Over the Backbone of the Sky Lakes Wilderness, through the Oregon Desert, to Crater Lake.


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Opening Photos: Fire-warped snags through the Oregon Desert (top), and wildflowers below Devils Peak.






Trip Report


----Day 7----

Hiking into the Oregon Desert.
Distance: 13.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,714 feet.
Weather/Temp.: Warm and sunny, smoke billowing on the ground



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At the last water sources before the 20 mile waterless stretch, lush gardens of wildflowers showed off their blooms.



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Passed by Horse Feed meadow.



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Spotted these two friendly butterflies! They seemed perfectly happy to pose for the camera.



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After passing the junction for Ranger Spring Trail, the trail entered the burn.


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Precarious tree of doom



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The forest here is slowly regenerating.



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Crossing over a saddle



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The trail then entered a more recent burn from 2017 last year. It burned intensely on the south side of Crater Lake National Park and the northern portion of the Sky Lakes Wilderness in an area known as the Oregon Desert. This was the worst section of burn along the trail; ash 3-7 inches deep, maybe more.


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The junction with the Jack Spring Trail. It is reportedly extremely hard to find. The trail has been completely destroyed, and finding the tiny, unreliable spring just didn't seem worth the time and effort.



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Smoke billowing on the ground, and the sun was a deep red that evening.


After miles more of blackened burned forest, made camp on a ridgeline with a bit of a view and breeze.




----Day 8----

Hiking into Crater Lake National Park, and ending at Mazama.
Distance: 9.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 855 feet.
Weather/Temp: Warm and sunny



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A few stands of sparse, lodgepole pine forest still stood. Pumice rock lay strewn about on the ground.



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I can't even begin to imagine the incredible heat that warped these young trees!



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Soon, I entered into Crater Lake National Park.



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The forest began to green up some more.



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Another butterfly.



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And another one. Couldn't believe my luck with friendly butterflies on this trip! :lol:



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The PCT then followed an old road bed, or something.



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It was a pleasant, uneventful walk through majestic trees before reaching Mazama on Highway 62.



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Stopped by Crater Lake to see the view. What a magnificent "view" of the lake it was! :lol:
(Not that it was all that disappointing, though; it wasn't my first time at Crater Lake.)




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Chazz
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Re: Southern Oregon PCT (85mi) Section Hike - Ashland to Crater Lake (Part 3)

Post by Chazz » September 12th, 2018, 7:27 am

A great finish to your section hike reports, Elemental. I enjoyed reading them and and viewing your photos.

I'm going to be going southbound next year from Odell Lake past Crater Lake. With your experience, where would be a good spot south of CLNP to leave a car if I am doing a two-car shuttle?

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

Re: Southern Oregon PCT (85mi) Section Hike - Ashland to Crater Lake (Part 3)

Post by Chazz » September 12th, 2018, 7:54 am

I think I just answered my own question. It's either hwy 62/Mazama Village or Fish Lake resort.

Odell to Hwy 62: 82 miles
Odell to Fish Lake: 132 miles

Parking a car for several days within the boundaries of CLNP may be troublesome.

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ElementalFX
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Re: Southern Oregon PCT (85mi) Section Hike - Ashland to Crater Lake (Part 3)

Post by ElementalFX » September 14th, 2018, 8:13 pm

Chazz wrote:
September 12th, 2018, 7:54 am
I think I just answered my own question. It's either hwy 62/Mazama Village or Fish Lake resort.

Odell to Hwy 62: 82 miles
Odell to Fish Lake: 132 miles

Parking a car for several days within the boundaries of CLNP may be troublesome.

Thanks!

Yeah, pretty much. There isn't any good exit point between Hwy 62/Mazama and Fish Lake Resort, unless you want to hike out to Fourmile Lake or one of the remote trailheads in the main part of the Sky Lakes Wilderness (and all of those options are probably more out of your way to not make it worth it).

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mjirving
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Re: Southern Oregon PCT (85mi) Section Hike - Ashland to Crater Lake (Part 3)

Post by mjirving » September 23rd, 2018, 5:35 am

Great report!
Mike

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