Category
Nature-viewing

Orienteering on Mt. Ashland


Learn Orienteering

Orienteering tools

Orienteering tools, simple and basic: map and compass

Class: Orienteering on Mt. Ashland
Instructor: Brennan McGinnis, M.S.
Date: Saturday, August 19, 2017
Location: Mt. Ashland
Tuition: $60

Gain confidence in plotting your back-country hikes and returning safely. Learn how to use simple navigational tools including map, compass, and solar position to prevent lost hours in the wilderness. Become expert in interpreting topographic maps to steer your way. This field course is invaluable training for naturalists of all ages seeking to take the anxiety out of hiking adventures.

For information on registering for this fun class go to Siskiyou Field Institute. The instructor for this class is Brennan McGinnis a wilderness skills and philosophy instructor at Free Lance Wilderness Instruction

About Orienteering

A sport (usually competitive) in which participants find their way to various checkpoints across rough country with the aid of a map and compass. Think car rally on foot. If competitive the winner is the one with the lowest elapsed time who found all the control points along the route. .
More about orienteering on wikipedia

About Siskiyou Field Institute

Siskiyou Field Institute offers wonderful immersive workshops and classes for those who what to learn about natural history of the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion. This special area of the world is one of the six global “hot spots” for flora and fauna biodiversity.

The Chanticleer Inn has a history of supporting SFI and promoting their education, research and community programs.

Crater Lake Vehicle-free Days: Sept 9 & 16, 2017


Announcing: The Annual Crater Lake Vehicle-free Days

Crater Lake vehicle-free days —  two Saturdays in September, the 9th and 16th. The rim road will be closed off to vehicles. What a great opportunity for visitors to the National Park to hike and bike on the East Rim road that goes around the lake. All 24 miles without cars and trucks!

You can leisurely enjoy the fabulous views of the 7th deepest lake in the world as well as the forests that surround the lake.

For more information go the this webpage

 

Crater Lake vehicle-free days

Crater Lake vehicle-free days

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On Grizzly Peak Trail the Wildflowers Have Sprung


On Grizzly Peak Trail the Wildflowers Have Sprung!

Many of you know Grizzly Peak Trail is one of all time my favorite places to hike, because of the vast number of flowers in three different habitats: forest, meadows, and rocky outcrops. And the views! As you walk around the top of Grizzly Peak, one sees north as far as Crater Lake; and then there are views of the entire Rogue Valley, and Bear Creek Valley. Further afield Wagner Butte, Mt. Ashland, Pilot Rock, Mt Shasta and Soda Mountain, and further south and west the Sky Lakes Wilderness Area.

Last Sunday, friends and I went up. My first hike on Grizzly Peak for the 2017 season. Here are some of the flowers that bloom early in the year.

Calypso bulbosa on Grizzly Peak Trail

Calypso bulbosa

 

Dwarf Hesperochiron on Grizzly Peak Trail

Dwarf Hesperochiron

 

 

Checker lily on Grizzly Peak Trail

Fritillaria affinis or Checker Lily

 

 

Little Mountain Anemone on Grizzly Peak

Little Mountain Anemone

 

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Birding the Wood River by Canoe


Canoe and Bird on the Wood River

Wood River

Canoeing Wood River, Photo by KM Pyle

 

Where: Wood River, OR
Instructors: Kevin Spencer and Dave Haupt
Date: Saturday, June 17, 2017
Location: Wood River Wetlands, Oregon
Tuition: $165
Maximum: 15 students, for adults and kids 16+
Level: Moderate fitness, expect 3-5 mile hike and then canoeing

About the Adventure on the Wood River

Expect to see 70 species or more recorded for this area. To enhance our chances of seeing riparian birds such as Willow Flycatchers and Black-capped Chickadees, we’ll start early with a bird walk at Wood River Wetlands, a BLM recreation site.

Then we’ll move to Petric Park, have an early lunch, and put in our canoes midmorning, paddle out the channel and head into Agency Lake. Paddling unobtrusively in cattail, bulrush, and “wocus” habitats, we’ll observe birds at their peak in breeding plumage, songs, and displays. The loud “kalwp” calling of the Pied-billed Grebe and pumping sounds of the American Bittern will come from the marsh, while Franklin’s Gulls could be fly catching overhead. With possible views of “rushing” Western and Clark’s Grebes atop the open water, the day will also be an intriguing hunt for birds performing mating dances and behaviors.

All canoeing will take place in a sheltered part of the Upper Klamath lake. After returning to Petric Park, you’ll have the option to continue with more land birding if desired. Canoes provided by Let’s Paddle outfitters.

For more information and to register go to The Siskiyou Field Institute’s website

About Siskiyou Field Institute

Siskiyou Field Institute offers wonderful immersive workshops and classes for those who what to learn about natural history of the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion. This special area of the world is one of the six global “hot spots” for flora and fauna biodiversity.

The Chanticleer Inn has a history of supporting SFI and promoting their education, research and community programs.

Wild Flowers on Upper and Lower Table Rock Trail


Upper and Lower Table Rock Trails

Lower Table Rock Trail flower

Cascade Mariposa Lily

Upper and Lower Table Rock trails are some of my favorite springtime trails, especially during the mid-week. I like that they go through a few distinct eco-systems, each with its own set of wild flowers. The trails start from two separate car parks and briefly go through oak savannah, where you see meadow/woodland flowers, such as camas, buttercups, mariposa lilies, shooting stars, with white oak trees and chaparral. The trails then steadily wind through more forested and shady section as they climb up the side of their mesas.  On top of each mesas, is where you can see the mounded prairie and vernal pool plant communities. The meadow flowers that form concentric circles around the vernal pools are especially striking. Depending on how much spring rain we get, the vernal pools might be seen as late as early May.  It’s usually better to go in April.

Lower table rock trail vernal pools

Vernal pools with Fields of Gold

 

 

The Table Rock vernal pools are micro-ecosystems of habitat that support a federally threatened species of fairy shrimp and a state endangered plant called dwarf wooly meadowfoam (Limnanthes floccosa ssp. pumila). This plant is endemic to the Table Rocks, meaning it is found nowhere else in the world.

You can see Mt. McLoughlin and Mt Ashland from the top of the mesas, as well as the Rogue Valley floor stretching south toward the Klamath/Siskiyous.

 

Directions

From Interstate 5, take Exit #33 heading east one mile on East Pine Street and turn north (left) at the second signal onto Table Rock Road. For Upper Table Rock, turn right on Modoc Road. For Lower Table Rock continue to Wheeler Road and turn west (left). The signs for both Upper and Lower Table Rock Trails are well posted.

Details of the Upper and Lower Table Rock Trails

Lower Table Rock trail

Arrowleaf balsamroot

Parking and toilet facilities are available at each trail. Water is not available along the trails or at the trailhead. Dogs are not allowed on the trails. Allow approximately 2-3 hours for a round trip hike — time depends on fitness and how much gawking one does along the way.

Upper and Lower Table Rocks are side-by-side mesas. The Upper Table Rock mesa is shorter and the Lower Table Rock mesa is taller. Yeah, it took me awhile to work out that the upper and lower designations didn’t describe height, but pertained to positions vis-a-vis the Rogue river. Up river = Upper Table Rock: further down river = Lower Table Rock.

Upper Table Rock’s out and back trail is 2.5 miles, with an elevation gain of 730 feet. You can extend the walk for as long as you like by wandering on top of the mesa.

Lower Table Rock’s trail is 3.5 miles round trip with elevation gain 770 feet. It is a moderately difficult trail. The trail offers interpretive signs for hikers. For those eager to extend their hike, you may enjoy walking along the abandoned airstrip to the edge of the rock. This will add an extra mile to your trip.

Both trails at their south edges of the rock offer a great view of the unique habitat of Kelly Slough. This wetland lies 800 feet below and provides unique habitat for many aquatic birds.

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Lithia Park Blossoms in Spring Time


Lithia Park Blossoms in the Early Spring

For floral displays, Lithia Park blossoms are a three-season destination. After attending Ashland Garden Club at the Community Center on Winburn, we wandered through Lithia Park. I wanted to see which tree were blossoming, and if perhaps, the rhododendrons were starting to bloom. The tulip magnolias and plum trees were still in full bloom, but we’ll have to return for the rhodies.

Back of the Elizabethan Theatre from Lithia Park blossoms

Back of the Elizabethan Theater from Lithia Park

Upper Duck Pond Lithia Park blossoms

Upper Duck Pond

 

Jim at Lithia Park Upper Duck Pond

Jim at the Upper Duck Pond

We are lucky to have such a lovely park, and so accessible to downtown.

Then on the walk back to the Chanticleer at the corner of E. Main and Gresham, here is a picture of Ashland’s library over blooming Oregon grape. Oregon grape, by the way, is the State of Oregon’s flower.

Oregon Grape in front of Ashland's Library

Oregon Grape in front of Ashland’s Library

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Table Rock Geology and Its Influence on Plant Communities


Table Rock Geology and Its Influence on Plant Communities, a Siskiyou Field Institute Class

Geology on table rock

Grass widows, Olsynium douglasii, Table Rock Geology Photo by Ellen Campbell

Instructor: Larry Broeker
Date: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Location: Introduction at Central Point Library; class will then carpool to Upper Table Rock parking lot.
Tuition: $60

We will examine the geologic events that shaped architecture of the Rogue Valley and surrounding foothills, specifically the origin and transformation of the Table Rocks.

This field course begins with an introductory slide presentation at the Central Point Library, then continues in the field with a hike up the Upper Table Rock trail to the summit, then travel to various points of geologic and ecologic interest on its southeast arm. On our trip, we will observe mass-wasting processes of erosion as well as explore three distinct microhabitats that host diverse plant communities.
Register for this course.

About Siskiyou Field Institute

Siskiyou Field Institute offers wonderful immersive workshops and classes for those who what to learn about natural history of the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion. This special area of the world is one of the six global “hot spots” for flora and fauna biodiversity.

The Chanticleer Inn has a history of supporting SFI and promoting their education, research and community programs.

Snowshoe Crater Lake!


Snowshoe Crater Lake This Winter

snowshoe crater lake

Snowshoe Crater Lake

Popular and free ranger-guided snowshoeing is a wonderful way to see Crater Lake and learn about the local natural history, especially how plants, animals, and people have adapted to thrive in the snowiest inhabited place in America.

The views are absolutely spectacular when you snowshoe Crater Lake — and snowshoes are really the only way to explore the park because the park receives an average of 43 feet (516 inches) of snow per year.

The snowshoe “walks” are offered every weekend on Saturday and Sunday (and on some holidays) over the winter for as long as there’s snow up to April 30, 2017. Visit the Crater Lake park’s website for the latest in schedule and information — you don’t want to miss the opportunity to snowshoe Crater Lake.

Some details:

The “walks” begin at 1:00 p.m., last two hours, and cover one to two miles of moderately strenuous terrain. The ranger will lead the hike off-trail to explore the forests and meadows along the rim of Crater Lake.

Never snowshoed? No problem! No previous snowshoeing experience is necessary. Snowshoes are provided free of charge, and there is no cost for the tour. The rangers restrict the age starting at 8 years old. One should come prepared with warm clothing (dress in layers, it gets warm when you’re moving about, but can get cold quickly when standing about) Wear water-resistant footwear (Gortex), I prefer to use gaiters as well.

Space on each tour is limited, and advance reservations are required. For more information and to sign up, call the park’s visitor center at 541-594-3100. The visitor center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except on December 25. Groups of 10 or more people (such as scout troops, hiking clubs, and church groups) may be able to arrange for a separate tour just for their group.

Crater Lake National Park is open year-round, 24 hours a day. The park’s north entrance and Rim Drive are closed to cars in the winter, but the west and south entrances are plowed daily and are open to automobiles throughout the year. There is no winter lodging in the park, but the Rim Village Café & Gift Shop is open daily except on November 26 and December 25. Spectacular views of Crater Lake can be obtained at Rim Village during periods of clear weather.

 

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Siskiyou Botanical Areas and Stewardship


Native Plant Society Program: Siskiyou botanical areas and stewardship – Feb 16, 2017

Jeanine Moy will discuss rare plant species of the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains, and examine a few of the 130 designated Siskiyou botanical areas created to protect our rare plants. Learn about ways to participate in a community of stewardship for these special places.
Jeanine Moy is a passionate naturalist and educator with a degree in Applied Ecology from Cornell University. She is outreach director for the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center and manages the Adopt-a-Botanical Area Program.
This program is free and open to the public.
When: February 16, Thursday, 7 pm
Times:
– Refreshments at 6:45 pm
– Meeting and program at 7:00 pm.
Location: Southern Oregon University Science Building, Room 161.
For more information go to Siskiyou Chapter Native Plant Society’s Facebook page or contact Dave at 541-535-5355.
Siskiyou Botanical Areas coral root

Coral Root on Grizzly Peak,  Photo by Ellen Campbell

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Local Hiking Trails in Ashland Oregon


Local Hiking Trails In and Around Ashland

This winter, between rainstorms, Jim and I found some time to explore the local hiking trails in and around Ashland. My goal was to expand my first-hand knowledge of trails that are dog-friendly [on-leash! ] and/or easy to get to from the Chanticleer Inn. The City of Ashland has some online maps of Ashland’s trails.

So far, we especially enjoyed the trails in Hald Strawberry Park and Ashland Watershed. Judging from the over-wintering plants, evidence of last summer’s growth, and evergreen trees, come springtime all of these trails will have an abundance of native flowers.

There will be more blog posts describing additional trails and walks in and around Ashland; meanwhile here are two hikes:

Hald Strawberry Park

This park is situated west of Lithia Park, uphill from Granite St. A small network of trails wend through the chaparral habitat with native madrone, manzanita, and oak. On the highest point you will find a bench which provides a view toward the Rogue Valley. From the park’s gentle hills there are many lovely views overlooking Ashland’s downtown with the Bear Creek Valley and the Western Cascades in the background.

To get to the park: from Granite St. take Strawberry Lane (it will be a bit steep uphill). The trail crosses Strawberry Lane just after Alnutt St. Take a right onto the trail — one can go left, but it will be a dead end before too long. Once on the trail going north, you will come to a fork, I would opt for left. After that, consult the map as the trails in this park crisscross and loop around a knoll. It not difficult to find one’s way out of the park, just go downhill, you will either come out the way you came, or onto Skycrest Dr. or Ditch Road.

One of Many Local Hiking Trails in the Ashland Watershed

This hike has a picnic table, so think about packing a snack. 

There is a collection of local hiking trails in Ashland’s Watershed, many of those closest to town (south and uphill) have Alice in Wonderland themed names. They are tightly networked and for the most part well marked, but I recommend bring a map. I always have a stack of the maps in the inn’s foyer.

For those who want approximately 1.5 to 2 hour roundtrip hike starting from and returning to the Chanticleer, here is one of several possibilities.

Similar to Hald Strawberry, but with more conifers, this area will have native wildflowers in the spring.

Directions: From the Chanticleer Inn walk uphill. It will be steep: just keep in mind you’ll be going back down on the return! Gresham St. ends at Holly St., turn right and make an immediate left onto Gutherie. Then take Herbert which veers off (forks) to the right. The trailhead will be on your left between two residential houses. This trail will bisect Cottle-Philips Property and end at Ashland Loop Road. Turn left onto the road and look on the right for the Red Queen trail. Once on the Red Queen, you’re in the Watershed, now choose one of the two below.

Shorter loop: continue on Red Queen, pick up JubJub and stay to the right. In a very short distance you’ll cross the BTI (this is the big red/white line on the map which is bike only), in a short distance turn right on Bandersnatch. Follow Bandersnatch as it switchbacks three times, evens out the trail, and crosses BTI again. A couple more switchbacks and you’ll be on a knoll with a picnic table. Continue downhill and you’ll spill out on Waterline. Continue downhill, you’ll get on Glenview and then right/back up onto Waterline. About a block or so, you’ll be back on Ashland Loop road and you can retrace your steps downhill to the inn.

Longer Loop: continue on Red Queen, turn left onto JubJub. In a short distance you’ll cross the BTI (this is the big red/white line on the map which is bike only), and almost immediately turn right/south onto Bandersnatch. Bandersnatch will parallel BTI going south for ~.25mi then cross BTI again and turn west and follow the switchbacks uphill. You’ll once again cross over the BTI, in a couple more switchbacks and you’ll be on a knoll with a picnic table. Continue downhill and you’ll spill out on Waterline. Continue downhill, you’ll get on Glenview and then right/back up onto Waterline. About a block or so, you’ll be back on Ashland Loop road and you can retrace your steps downhill to the inn.

Ground cones on local hiking trails

Easy to walk by thinking “that’s a pine cone” but it’s really Kopsiopsis (Boschniakia) strobilacea, or ground cones. Not uncommon on the local hiking trails. Photo by Ellen Campbell

 

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