If you're looking for the best view of Southern Oregon's Mount McLoughlin, then take a hike, or better yet, a bike ride on the Brown Mountain Trail.

With a six-mile altitude gain of barely 800 feet, this trail, west of Lake of the Woods off Highway 140, offers a moderate hike and a relatively easy bike ride into geologic time and history.

Just because you can't get to the top of the mountain and you won't even get a glimpse the of lake, don't be discouraged. Less than a mile in you'll get up close and personal with Mount McLoughlin, and if you've brought your camera, you'll capture images sure to make your friends envious.

A mile or two later, you'll be in the middle of a 60,000-year-old lava flow that seems to go on forever.

The trail gradually climbs uphill over red cinders, dirt and a few rocks, but by the time you reach the lava boulders the trail becomes as firm as a sidewalk as it cuts through four miles of volcanic rock.

Joining with a few other trails, bikers can ride a 14-mile loop.
You won't forget what you see.

For up-to-date trail information call the Fremont-Winema National Forest, 541-947-2151 or visit the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest Web site, www.fs.fed.us/r6/rogue-siskiyou/recreation.

Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at newsmiller@yahoo.com.