5 winter trails to get you ready for summer trails

5 winter trails to get you ready for summer trails

If you want to cover ground next summer on the Pacific Crest Trail, or climb Mount McLoughlin, or explore any of the numerous high-elevation trails in Southern Oregon and Northern California, it's a good idea to go outside and get prepared.
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Timberline Trail set to reopen in 2017

Timberline Trail set to reopen in 2017

One of the most spectacular trails in the United States — and perhaps the most iconic pathway in Oregon — is scheduled to reopen in full by the summer of 2017.

The Timberline Trail, a 40-mile circuit of Mount Hood, has been partly closed since 2006 when a debris flow destroyed a bridge and washed out a large swath of trail near Eliot Glacier field.

The washout forced hikers to either navigate to a more difficult crossing or simply cut their trip short.

The...

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5 spectacular snowshoe spots

5 spectacular snowshoe spots

With a big, fat snowpack sitting on top of the mountains that surround our valley, this would be a good winter to finally learn how to snowshoe.

Snowshoers often say, "If you can walk, you can snowshoe," and while that's true to an extent, snowshoeing is a lot tougher than walking, so get ready for a good workout.
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Trail builders: Bike, hike and ski trails developed on Spence Mountain

Trail builders: Bike, hike and ski trails developed on Spence Mountain

The views are incredible from viewpoints along the Spence Mountain Trail, Southern Oregon's newest network of trails. Depending on the vantage, the panorama can include Mount Shasta, Upper Klamath Lake, the Cascades peaks surrounding Crater Lake and Mount McLoughlin.

"It's even better than we imagined," said Drew Honzel, a member of the Klamath Trails Alliance, the Klamath Falls-based outdoor group that's developing Spence Mountain, of sights along and from the trail.

Creating...

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Ashland watershed trail network to be expanded and upgraded

Ashland watershed trail network to be expanded and upgraded

ASHLAND — Mountain bikers barreling down legit trails built for hikers and horseback riders were already causing headaches for Ashland watershed managers in 2011, but then things began to get egregious on a little stretch of hiking heaven called Marty's Trail.

Someone drove a backhoe around a trail gate and dug in a series of bumps and jumps for "downhiller" cyclists, much to the chagrin of darn near everyone else.  

"That was a bold move," says Jeffrey...

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Hike among fragrant myrtles beside a world-class river

Hike among fragrant myrtles beside a world-class river

The Wild Rivers Coast is conifer country.

The towering firs and monumental redwoods define the Southern Oregon and Northern California coasts. But a very important tree to the area's history is often overlooked, and it's got a few names: Oregon myrtle, California laurel, bay.

Check out one of the only preserves of Umbellularia californica at Alfred Loeb State Park, spitting distance from Brookings.

This park in the deep southwest pocket of Oregon was originally purchased by....

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Hike to Thunder Rock Cove can crackle or calm

Hike to Thunder Rock Cove can crackle or calm

Samuel Boardman was Oregon's first parks superintendent, and he built a career on the vision of securing the future of public places.

A road engineer by trade, he went on to negotiate with private landowners to donate or sell their property below market value for the greater good.

The culmination of his career came with the Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor. The park runs 12 miles along the Southern Oregon Coast between Brookings and Gold Beach and is one of the most...

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Day Trippin': Solitude in the Siskiyous

Day Trippin': Solitude in the Siskiyous

Editor's Note: Day Trippin' is a recurring feature that gives readers a chance to play tour guide and tell us about a nearby getaway.

The hustle and bustle of the holidays are already upon us, so it is a great time to take a pleasant drive and hike to absorb some of nature's cool and colorful medicine.

To really get away from it all for a few hours, I like to drive to the Galice area, where I have numerous places to hike or enjoy one of the prettiest stretches of the...

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A moderate trail in a rugged wilderness

A moderate trail in a rugged wilderness

The Kalmiopsis Wilderness is known for its challenging trails. By default of topography, the routes are steep, winding, loose and rocky. And by default of economy, largely unmaintained.

Most people don't want spend the little time they can budget suffering, which is inevitable on the primitive routes that penetrate the Kalmiopsis's 180,000-acre core. But it's possible to get a big bite of Southern Oregon's largest federal wilderness area in just about five moderate miles on a section...

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Guided snowshoe walks kick off at Crater Lake

Crater Lake's annual, free, ranger-guided snowshoe walks will begin this year at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28.

The walks will be offered every Saturday and Sunday through May 1, 2016, with additional outings offered weekdays in late December and early January.

Each walk lasts about two hours and covers a mile of moderately strenuous terrain through forests and meadows along Crater Lake's rim. Participants will learn about the park's plant and animal life, and how they survive during.....

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Happy trails in the mountains

Happy trails in the mountains

It's a hike through history, but also a challenging trek with spectacular views, thick forests and pristine lakes.
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Sweet little taste of the North Fork Smith River

Sweet little taste of the North Fork Smith River

The North Fork Smith River spills from the rugged Kalmiopsis Wilderness high country through a remote gorge defined by a geologic anomaly. Boaters come from all around to float the North Fork when the water level is just right. That's not easy.

Because of the area's volatile hydrology, they can't depend on USGS flow readings from lower down on the Smith. So the North Fork is suitable to run, for most, only when a homemade gauge near Gasquet, California, reads 9 to 12 feet.

Local.....

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Wild Rogue Wilderness trail restored

Wild Rogue Wilderness trail restored

MARIAL — College students and other volunteers were busy this past summer restoring a nearly impassable 25-mile loop of trail in the Wild Rogue Wilderness.

The Siskiyou Mountain Club spent 20 days on the project, in addition to working in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and the Soda Mountain Wilderness of Southern Oregon.

The Wild Rogue work included the Mule Creek, Panther Ridge and Clay Hill trails, in addition to part of the Rogue River Trail.

The crews had to saw...

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5 fall hikes for flora and fauna

5 fall hikes for flora and fauna

1. Sterling Mine Ditch Trail


A late October hike along the stretch of the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail between Wolf Gap and Bear Gulch offers more than a testament to the fall colors of Southern Oregon.
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Eighty-year-old climbs Mount McLoughlin one final time

Eighty-year-old climbs Mount McLoughlin one final time

BUTTE FALLS — During the previous 41 times climbing to the top of Mount McLoughlin, Art Ekerson would soak up the views of Southern Oregon and Northern California in a panorama like none other.
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Musings on a strange Kalmiopsis meadow

Musings on a strange Kalmiopsis meadow

The old backcountry trails of the remote and rugged south Kalmiopsis Wilderness are the stuff of legend. Tall tales of Bigfoot, strange mountain men, ill-fated mining ventures and carnivorous plants abound, and at least in the case of the carnivorous plants, some of the bizarre old-time stories are actually true.
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Growers whose pot plants span Layton Ditch in Williams say they'll work with forest group

Growers whose pot plants span Layton Ditch in Williams say they'll work with forest group

WILLIAMS — Cheryl Bruner strolls along a piece of the old Layton Ditch Trail beneath a canopy of lichen-laced white oaks and thick Ponderosa pines that part at times to offer panoramic views of the Williams Valley below.

This one-time miner's ditch is so rich with history and picturesque views that Bruner and others in Williams believe it should be canonized as a state scenic trail.

"It's beautiful," Bruner says. "It really is a nice example of a Southern Oregon pine-oak...

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J'ville author writes PCT guides geared toward drivers and day hikers

J'ville author writes PCT guides geared toward drivers and day hikers

For Ed McBee of Jacksonville, being lost on a wilderness road eight years ago started years of exploration across Oregon and led to writing two trail guides.

McBee, who recently released the second part of his trail guides, "Oregon Backroads Guide to the Pacific Crest Trail," says he was driving on a forest road near the Pacific Crest Trail when he came to a four-way intersection unmarked on all sides. He didn't know which way to turn.

When he found his way back, he sought out a.....

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Outside-in at The Rock

Outside-in at The Rock

“The Rock” — the locals' name for the geological formation formally known as Fort Rock — looms large over northern Lake County's high desert.

A geologic oddity that's been called a petrified version of the Roman Colosseum, The Rock is a natural phenomenon created thousands of years ago by cataclysmic eruptions. The ring of the crescent-shaped monolith is about 4,460 feet in diameter, while its basalt walls rise upwards of 325 feet above the surrounding...

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New state trail designations sought

If you would like to see your favorite hiking trail recognized by the state, applications are being accepted now for Oregon's state-designated trails list.

By recognizing outstanding trails, the state program strives to promote them to residents and tourists.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department reported in a news release that the state's Recreation Trails Advisory Council will take nominations for state-designated, non-motorized trails through Nov. 30 .

Department...

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August 28, 2015

Treasures of the Lost Coast

July 23, 2015

View from above

June 14, 2015

Journey of a Lifetime

April 24, 2015

View from above

April 19, 2015

An unexpected trail

February 20, 2015

Trail to Charismatic Conifers

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