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Difference between revisions of "Mule Mountain Loop Hike"

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

 
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[[Category:Southern Oregon]]
 
[[Category:Southern Oregon]]
[[Category:Moderate Hikes]]
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[[Category:Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest]]
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[[Category:Difficult Hikes]]
 
[[Category:Wildflower Hikes]]
 
[[Category:Wildflower Hikes]]
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[[Category:Viewpoint Hikes]]
 
[[Category:Loop Hikes]]
 
[[Category:Loop Hikes]]
 
[[Category:Hikes]]
 
[[Category:Hikes]]
[[Category: Under Development]]
 
  
[[Image:Mule Mtn Loop 1.jpeg|thumb|200px|Trail head sign at USFS property boundary ''(B. Hope)'']]
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[[Image:MuleMtnLoop5.jpeg|thumb|250px|Stand of old madrone trees along trail ''(B. Hope)'']]
 
[[Image:MuleMtnLoop5.jpeg|thumb|250px|Stand of old madrone trees along trail ''(B. Hope)'']]
[[Image:MuleMtnLoop6.jpeg|thumb|400px|View west from high point; trail climbs ridge on right ''(B. Hope)'']]
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[[Image:MuleMtnLoop6.jpeg|thumb|400px|View west from saddle ''(B. Hope)'']]
[[Image:MuleMtnLoop4.jpeg|thumb|400px|Map of Mule Mountain Loop hike ''(B. Hope)'']]
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* Start point: [[Mule Mountain Trailhead]]
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* Ending Point: [[Mule Mountain Trailhead]]
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{{Start point|Mule Mountain Trailhead}}
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* End point: [[Mule Mountain Trailhead]]
 
* Trail Log:  
 
* Trail Log:  
 
* Hike Type: Loop
 
* Hike Type: Loop
{{Distance|10.6 miles}}
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{{Distance|11.9 miles}}
{{Elevation gain|2,800 feet}}
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{{Elevation gain|4,000 feet}}
 
* High Point: 4,300 feet
 
* High Point: 4,300 feet
{{Difficulty|Moderate}}
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{{Difficulty|Difficult}}
 
* Seasons: All year
 
* Seasons: All year
 
* Family Friendly: No
 
* Family Friendly: No
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=== Hike Description ===
 
=== Hike Description ===
This is the most readily accessible of the hikes starting in or near the Applegate Valley in Southern Oregon.  Barring an unusual snow event, it’s open year-round.  In the spring (April - June), there are wildflowers in the south-facing meadows crossed by the trail.  In the summer, an early start allows you to climb the arid south-facing balds and twisted oak woodlands in the cool of the morning and then descend among the lush, cool maple and fir forests along Mule Creek Canyon as the day heats up.
+
<b>Because of a change in land ownership, the Forest Service lost its easement for access to this trail's lower trailhead on Upper Applegate Road. You can, however, access the loop from the Charlie Buck / Baldy Peak Trailhead.This makes for a tougher, but still varied and interesting, loop hike.</b>
 +
 
 +
This is the most readily accessible of the hikes starting in or near the Applegate Valley in Southern Oregon.  Barring an unusual snow event, it’s open year-round.  In the spring (April - June), there are wildflowers in the south-facing meadows (called "balds") crossed by the trail.  In the summer, an early start allows you to climb the arid south-facing balds and twisted oak woodlands in the cool of the morning and then return amidst the lush, cool maple and fir forests along Mule Creek Canyon as the day heats up.
  
After parking, walk back down the road to the sign and the start of the Mule Mountain (#919) trail. The first 0.3 mile or so is through private land, so please stay on the trail.  You will reach another trail sign once you cross on to USFS land.  About 0.5 mile beyond this second sign, you will come to a trail junction.  Turn left here (the trail to the right is Trail #920 and your return route). After another 3.4 miles, you will reach your high point, a grassy ridge on the side of Baldy Peak. Here you have the option of turning north for a 0.8 mile round-trip climb up the ridge to the summit of the peak and some views of the Applegate Valley and Mount Ashland.  You can also climb Mule Mountain itself by ascending cross-country from the trail; however, the view from Baldy Peak is better and the ascent easier (no brush!).
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The Charlie Buck / Baldy Peak Trail (#918) trail climbs 1,200 feet in just over a mile - a "healthy rate of climb" per the USFS - then levels off across a meadow below Baldy Peak with views of the Applegate Valley and the Red Buttes Wilderness. You soon reach an unsigned junction on the saddle south of Baldy Peak with the Mule Mountain Trail (#919) coming up from the right (west).   Here you have the option of turning north for a 0.8 mile round-trip climb up the ridge to the summit of the peak and some views of the Applegate Valley and Mount Ashland.  You can also climb Mule Mountain itself by ascending cross-country from the trail; however, the view from Baldy Peak is better and the ascent easier (no brush!).
  
To continue with the loop, turn south on the Baldy Peak trail (#918; not signed and faint at first but the tread is soon evident) that runs south below the ridge for 1.5 miles to an old forest road (FR 300).  Head straight (south) along the road for about 300' to an obvious trail on the right (west) side. This is the Mule Canyon Trail (#920) that will take you back to that first trail junction you encountered on your way upThis trail starts off strong and obvious (the sign marking the start of this trail may be missing or vandalized) but has a few faint stretches once it reaches the canyon bottom - but it's not hard to follow if you pay attention.  There are some huge old-growth firs in the upper reaches of this canyon which alone are worth a visit.
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Turn right (west) here and descend the Mule Mountain Trail for 3.4 miles to an unsigned junction with the Mule Creek Trail #920 coming in from the left (south). Turn left here and descend the #920 to an old road in the canyon bottom alongside Mule CreekTurn left (east) here and follow the old road/trail up along the creek. It's not hard to follow if you pay attention. The one tricky spot is where the #920 crosses Hole in the Ground Creek about 2 miles from where you turned off the #919.  It may look like the trail continues up and to the right but the Mule Creek Trail goes to the left here. From here on, the trail is a trail and not an old road.  There are some huge old-growth firs in the upper reaches of this canyon which alone are worth a visit. After some solid climbing, the trail becomes an old road again and soon thereafter you reach Forest Road 2010-300.
  
After 3.4 miles, the Mule Creek trail starts climbing out of the canyon (simply continuing down the canyon is not possible because of private property) and in 0.7 mile reaches its junction with the Mule Mountain trail, which you then take back to the trailhead.  
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Turn left (north) here and follow Forest Road 2010-300 for about 100 yards to its end at a turn around. The #918 starts at the north side of the turn around (look for as Baldy Peak Trail sign), contours its way back to the unsigned junction below Baldy Peak, and from there plunges back down to the trailhead.
 
    
 
    
  
 
=== Maps ===
 
=== Maps ===
{{Hikemaps|latitude=42.08994|longitude=-123.09614}}
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{{Hikemaps|latitude=42.1024|longitude=-123.0613}}
  
 
{{TripReports|{{PAGENAME}}}}
 
{{TripReports|{{PAGENAME}}}}
 
* [http://www.oregonhikers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=20674  Mule Mountain Loop 23-Dec-2014]
 
* [http://www.oregonhikers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=20674  Mule Mountain Loop 23-Dec-2014]
 +
* [http://www.oregonhikers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=23065  Mule Mountain 16-Dec-2015]
 +
* [https://vanmarmot.org/2017/11/19/hiking-the-mule-mountain-loop-from-the-top-19-nov-2017/ Mule Mountain Loop (from upper trailhead) 19-Nov-2017]
  
 
{{RelatedDiscussions|{{PAGENAME}}}}
 
{{RelatedDiscussions|{{PAGENAME}}}}
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* ''The Siskiyou Crest: Hikes, History & Ecology'' by Luke Ruediger (pages 116-118)
 
* ''The Siskiyou Crest: Hikes, History & Ecology'' by Luke Ruediger (pages 116-118)
 
* ''100 Hikes in Southern Oregon'' by William L. Sullivan (Third Edition, Hike #63)
 
* ''100 Hikes in Southern Oregon'' by William L. Sullivan (Third Edition, Hike #63)
 +
* Rogue River National Forest (Oregon) Location map (very useful for making sense of the forest roads)
  
 
=== More Links ===
 
=== More Links ===
* [http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/rogue-siskiyou/recreation/recarea/?recid=70152 USFS Trail #918]
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* [http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/rogue-siskiyou/recreation/recarea/?recid=70152 USFS #918 Charlie Buck / Baldy Peak Trail]
* [http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/rogue-siskiyou/recreation/recarea/?recid=70292&actid=24 USFS Trail #919]
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* [http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/rogue-siskiyou/recreation/recarea/?recid=70292&actid=24 USFS #919 Mule Mountain Trail]
* [http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/rogue-siskiyou/recreation/recarea/?recid=70288 USFS Trail #920]
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* [http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/rogue-siskiyou/recreation/recarea/?recid=70288 USFS #920 Mule Creek Trail]
  
 
=== Page Contributors ===
 
=== Page Contributors ===
 
* [[User:VanMarmot|VanMarmot]] (creator)
 
* [[User:VanMarmot|VanMarmot]] (creator)

Latest revision as of 15:13, 5 December 2017

Stand of old madrone trees along trail (B. Hope)
View west from saddle (B. Hope)


  • Start point: Mule Mountain TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Mule Mountain Trailhead
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 11.9 miles
  • Elevation gain: 4,000 feet
  • High Point: 4,300 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

Because of a change in land ownership, the Forest Service lost its easement for access to this trail's lower trailhead on Upper Applegate Road. You can, however, access the loop from the Charlie Buck / Baldy Peak Trailhead.This makes for a tougher, but still varied and interesting, loop hike.

This is the most readily accessible of the hikes starting in or near the Applegate Valley in Southern Oregon. Barring an unusual snow event, it’s open year-round. In the spring (April - June), there are wildflowers in the south-facing meadows (called "balds") crossed by the trail. In the summer, an early start allows you to climb the arid south-facing balds and twisted oak woodlands in the cool of the morning and then return amidst the lush, cool maple and fir forests along Mule Creek Canyon as the day heats up.

The Charlie Buck / Baldy Peak Trail (#918) trail climbs 1,200 feet in just over a mile - a "healthy rate of climb" per the USFS - then levels off across a meadow below Baldy Peak with views of the Applegate Valley and the Red Buttes Wilderness. You soon reach an unsigned junction on the saddle south of Baldy Peak with the Mule Mountain Trail (#919) coming up from the right (west). Here you have the option of turning north for a 0.8 mile round-trip climb up the ridge to the summit of the peak and some views of the Applegate Valley and Mount Ashland. You can also climb Mule Mountain itself by ascending cross-country from the trail; however, the view from Baldy Peak is better and the ascent easier (no brush!).

Turn right (west) here and descend the Mule Mountain Trail for 3.4 miles to an unsigned junction with the Mule Creek Trail #920 coming in from the left (south). Turn left here and descend the #920 to an old road in the canyon bottom alongside Mule Creek. Turn left (east) here and follow the old road/trail up along the creek. It's not hard to follow if you pay attention. The one tricky spot is where the #920 crosses Hole in the Ground Creek about 2 miles from where you turned off the #919. It may look like the trail continues up and to the right but the Mule Creek Trail goes to the left here. From here on, the trail is a trail and not an old road. There are some huge old-growth firs in the upper reaches of this canyon which alone are worth a visit. After some solid climbing, the trail becomes an old road again and soon thereafter you reach Forest Road 2010-300.

Turn left (north) here and follow Forest Road 2010-300 for about 100 yards to its end at a turn around. The #918 starts at the north side of the turn around (look for as Baldy Peak Trail sign), contours its way back to the unsigned junction below Baldy Peak, and from there plunges back down to the trailhead.


Maps

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • The Siskiyou Crest: Hikes, History & Ecology by Luke Ruediger (pages 116-118)
  • 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon by William L. Sullivan (Third Edition, Hike #63)
  • Rogue River National Forest (Oregon) Location map (very useful for making sense of the forest roads)

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.