Soda Mountain Wilderness Council hikes
The Soda Mountain Wilderness Council has enlisted local naturalists to lead four weekend hikes in June to explore wildlands in and near the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Besides learning a bit about local flora and fauna and visiting some nice country, participants will learn about conservation threats and opportunities in each area. Most hikes involve at least a little off-trail, cross-country hiking. All hikes are free and usually involve carpooling.
Group sizes vary and are up to each hike leader. Space may be limited. Expect to be gone into the late afternoon or early evening on most hikes that begin in the morning. Ask your hike leader for their best estimate of return time. Groups may encounter ticks, rattlesnakes and/or any other possible outdoor hazard (sun, heat, rain, wind, cold, twisted ankle/knee, etc.) on any trip. Participants must sign a liability waiver at trip-start. Dogs by prior permission only at the discretion of each hike leader. Contact your hike leader to reserve your place and learn your hike's meeting point in south Ashland near Interstate 5.
These outings are not intended to be “power hikes” that merely churn out miles. Each trip includes at least one professional and experienced naturalist to help provide a sense of why the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument's presidential proclamation calls the area an “ecological wonder” and “biological crossroads.”

Sunday, June 10: Fish and Wildlife Service ornithologist Pepper Trail (541-482-9594; and Soda Mountain Wilderness Council board member Carol Wright will lead a hike to the Jenny Creek valley and canyon in the vicinity of the former Box O Ranch in and near the eastern unit of the Soda Mountain Wilderness and the southeastern corner of the monument. Maybe a creek crossing on this one (and maybe not). Hiking is generally easy, though not all on trail. Group size is limited to 10 people plus. About three miles. Easy to moderate. Meet at 9 a.m.

Saturday, June 16: Botanist Dominic DiPaolo and SMWC board member Chris Fowler (541-890-3951; lead an exploration of the meadows and forests in and around the Little Hyatt old-growth groves in the Greensprings Mountain Unit of the South Cascades Wilderness proposal near the Greensprings summit. Views from Sampson Rim down to Emigrant Reservoir and Ashland. All off-trail hiking. Easy-moderate. Less than 3 miles. Meet at 2 p.m. and bring your sack supper to enjoy daylight that lasts into the long almost-summer evening.

Sunday, June 24: National Park Service ecologist Dennis Odion (541-821-0738; and SMWC board member Lori Cooper will explore where Rogue Valley oak savannah meets Cascadian conifer forest (including the Little Hyatt old-growth groves), hiking from Round Mountain to Greensprings Mountain (elevation 5,225 feet). The first part of the trip is cross-country; the second half-plus is on the Pacific Crest Trail. Moderate; about five miles. Meet at 9 a.m.

Saturday, June 30: Botanist John Villella (541-531-9817; ) and National Park Service ecologist and SMWC board member Dennis Odion will lead an easy or moderate (your choice) Pacific Crest Trail hike east of Pilot Rock from Porcupine Gap (elevation 5,000 feet) to Babbitt Gap (5,180 feet), Porcupine Meadow (4,800 feet) and the Sound-of-Music view from Porcupine Mountain (5,290 feet). This hike is in both the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and its Soda Mountain Wilderness backcountry. About four miles total. Some off-trail hiking. Group size limited to 10 people. Meet at 8:30 a.m.

Granite Man
Saturday-Sunday, June 16-17: Annual event includes a triathlon, duathlon, aquathon, 10-mile mountain run, and 5-mile poker run. for details and entry information, see

Siskiyou Outback Trail Runs
Saturday, July 14: Registration is open for the 14th annual Siskiyou Outback trail runs. There will be three races this year, the traditional 50K and 15K, plus a new 50-mile distance. See for information.

Bicycle touring
Siskiyou Velo club member Phil Gagnon is organizing a series of self-supported bicycle tours for beginners. The tours are free other than your expenses for food, supplies and travel. For details, email Gagnon at

Tuesday-Friday, July 24-27: Monmouth tour. This will be a motel/sag wagon tour. Group will drive to Corvallis for the first night, then drive to Monmouth the next morning and leave the cars at a motel. From there, you'll ride 35 miles to a McMinnville motel for the second night. The next day the group will loop eastward to the Wheatland Ferry and circle back to stay in the Monmouth motel. Day 3 will include a southern loop from Monmouth taking the Buena Vista Ferry and circling back to Monmouth.

Sunday-Saturday, Aug. 19-25: Roseburg eastern loop. This is strictly a camping tour. From Roseburg, group will ride east to Diamond Lake and do a large circle back to Roseburg via Lost Creek Lake, Trail and Canyonville. Group will camp each night and most days carry and prepare their own food, as there are few places to buy food on this route.

Sunday-Friday, Sept. 9-14: Eugene to Champoeg State Park. This is a loop tour that includes camping and motels. Group will mostly eat out as they pass through many little towns along the route. The terrain is Willamette Valley flat.

Recurring road rides
Every Saturday: A brisk, two- to four-hour ride begins at 9 a.m. at Cycle Sport in Medford. The course changes from week to week. Call ride leader Alex Hayes for details at 541-857-0819.
Every Saturday: Mellow 20-mile ride begins at 10 a.m. Location and route varies. Call David Gibb at 541-899-9030.

Every Saturday: Slo-Mo ride covers 14 to 18 miles. Starting time and location varies. For details, call Phil Gagnon at 541-488-4289.

Every Sunday: Cycle Analysis in Jacksonville hosts a 2- to 3-hour road ride at 8 a.m. All fitness levels welcome. Riders regroup at major intersections, and there are cut-off spots to make the ride shorter if needed. Contact Jana Jenson at 541-899-9190, or email

Every Monday: Siskiyou Velo club 25-mile coffee ride begins at 9:30 a.m. at Colver Park in Phoenix and goes to Jacksonville; 25 mostly flat miles, 14 to 17 mph pace. Contact Ray Forsyth, 541-245-0312.

Every Wednesday: A 25- to 60-mile Siskiyou Velo Club ride begins at 10 a.m. at The Roasting Co. in Ashland. Some hills. Contact Wil Thomson, 541-482-4201.

Recurring mountain bike rides
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Ashland: Rides organized by the crew at Ashland Cycle Sport, 191 Oak St., Ashland. Meet at the Plaza in Ashland at 6:30 p.m. Riders of all abilities are welcome on the
Tuesday ride, which usually lasts until dark. The Thursday ride is usually longer (2 to 2 1/2 hours) and faster paced. Lights are highly recommended. Helmets and a safe, functioning bike are required. Call Scott at 541-488-0581 or see

Every Wednesday, Jacksonville: Starting at 6 p.m., Cycle Analysis hosts a two-hour ride on either the Britt trails in Jacksonville or nearby John's Peak, which has almost 200 miles of trails. All comers are welcome — no age or ability limits. Helmets are mandatory and lights are required during the winter. Contact Jana Jenson at 541-899-9190, or email

Every Saturday, Medford: This ride starts at Medford Cycle Sport, and the course varies from week to week, but riders can expect a brisk road ride that lasts 2 to 4 hours. Most rides include at least one (but usually two or three) 1- to 3-mile climbs. Call Alex at 541-857-0819 for information and starting time. Website is at

Rainbow $5,000 Fishing Derby
Saturday, June 23: Black Bird Shopping Center's annual trout derby at Diamond Lake pays $5,000 in prizes, with $1,000 going to the angler catching the longest trout, $750 for second place and $500 for third. Prizes continue down to the top 30 anglers, with 21st to 30th place getting $50 each. In addition, five fish tagged by Black Bird are worth $100 each to whomever catches them, and one fish tagged by Lithia Auto Body is worth $1,000. The tagged fish can be caught and turned in anytime during the 2012 fishing season. Proceeds benefit the Children's Miracle Network. For details, call Black Bird at 541-779-5431 or Diamond Lake Resort at 800-733-7593.

Siskiyou Field Institute
Saturday-Sunday, June 9-10: Intermediate/advanced birding with Shawneen Finnegan and David Irons. This class will teach the finer points of bird identification — both visual and vocal — with special emphasis on birds and groups of birds that present ID challenges in the field: flycatchers, warblers, sparrows, raptors, etc. Group will spend time discussing the life histories, plumage and molts, habitat preferences and species distribution of the birds encountered during this two-day class. Class begins at 5:30 a.m. Tuition costs $125. To register, or for information, call 541-597-8530 or see

Saturday, June 9: Geobotany of the Siskiyou Mountains. The Siskiyou Mountains are world renowned for their botanical diversity and their complex geology. The class will explore the mountains, wetlands and valleys of southwest Oregon to see how plants have adapted to four different habitats: dry serpentine, serpentine fens, soils derived from “normal” types of rocks, and the sandy soils of granitic rocks. Class begins at 9 a.m. Tuition costs $50. To register or for information, call 541-597-8530 or see

Sunday, June 10: Trees and shrubs to know in Southern Oregon. Learn to recognize the most common conifer and broadleaf trees of the Klamath Siskiyous and some of the most important and interesting shrub species of the region. Learn how to distinguish trees and shrubs by their leaves, twigs, fruit and bark, and by where they grow. Class begins at 9 a.m. Tuition is $50. To register or for information, call 541-597-8530 or see

Saturday, June 16: Redwood ecology: the mystery and magic of redwoods. Learn about redwoods from the ground up. From the geology upon which redwoods grow to the growing tip of the tallest living creature in the world, there are many stories to be told about redwoods. Participants will explore old-growth and second-growth stands within Redwood National & State Parks, and visit watershed restoration areas in the area to discover the intimate, ancient connection between these trees and Pacific salmon. Class begins at 9 a.m. Tuition is $50. To register or for information, call 541-597-8530 or see

Saturday-Sunday, June 16-17: Butterflies and moths of Southwest Oregon. On Day 1, students will learn about the biology and ecology of butterflies and moths then take to the field to observe and collect some of these beautiful insects. On Day 2, the class will examine moth samples collected the previous night before traveling to higher elevations to collect and observe additional species. Class begins at 9 a.m. Tuition is $110. To register or for information, call 541-597-8530 or see

Saturday-Sunday, June 23-24: Bird taxonomy and diversity with Pepper Trail. Hone your identification skills and explore the relationships among groups of birds in this lab and field course. On Saturday, the class will join Pepper Trail for a day in the lab at SOU, where you'll refresh your taxonomic know-how, look at identifying characteristics and discuss their ecological significance. On Sunday, the class will travel to the Klamath basin, one of the richest birding sites in Oregon, to practice identifying species in the field. Class begins at 9 a.m. Tuition is $100. To register or for information, call 541-597-8530 or see

Saturday-Sunday, June 30-July 1: Forest plant associations of Southwest Oregon. In this course, students will learn how plant association classifications are developed in order to capture ecosystem capability and response, illustrate typical utility and use, and learn to identify plant associations in the field. The group will make a transect from low to high elevation in the Illinois Valley and investigate plant association variability in 10 of the 15 plant series in southwest Oregon. Recommended for agency professionals, botanical consultants and anyone interested in developing a deeper understanding of plant ecology in southwest Oregon. Class begins at 8:30 a.m. Tuition is $100. To register or for information, call 541-597-8530 or see

Coyote Trails School of Nature
Saturday, June 9: How to preserve food. Learn how to dry and smoke meat, make pemmican, and store these treats long-term, away from hungry critters and the elements. No experience required. All ages welcome. Cost is $25. Class runs from 1 to 3 p.m. at Jefferson Nature Center, Medford. Pre-registration is required. Email or call 541-482-0513.

Saturday, June 9: Birdwalk to Upper Klamath Lake led by Klamath Bird Observatory volunteer and biologist Dave Hewitt for a tour of Upper Klamath Lake. During the breeding season, the wetland, riparian and conifer forest habitats along Upper Klamath Lake host an incredible diversity of birds. The group can expect to see many waterfowl, warblers, tanagers and grosbeaks, among others. Pack a lunch and bring plenty of water. Group will return in the mid-afternoon. Meet at 8 a.m. Wild Birds Unlimited, 712 Crater Lake Ave., Medford. Limited to 15 participants. To register, call 541-770-1104.

Saturday, July 14: Birdwalk to Howard Prairie and Hyatt Lake. Group will explore around the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, at the intersection of three distinct ecoregions. This area offers grand views of Mount McLoughlin, a diversity of wildflowers and butterflies and many bird habitats. Expect to see raptors, shorebirds and conifer-forest songbirds. Leader will be Frank Laspolluto, Klamath Bird Observatory volunteer and member. Meet at 8 a.m. Wild Birds Unlimited, 712 Crater Lake Ave., Medford. Limited to 15 participants. To register, call 541-770-1104.