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McDonald Peak not easy to get to

Since moving to the Rogue Valley a few year ago, I tackled a lot of trails, but have many to go. The other day, spotted a mountain near Mount Ashland called McDonald Peak, but can't find out much about it. What can you tell me? — Savannah J., Gold Hill

McDonald Peak is the sixth-highest point in Jackson County at 7,220 feet, placing behind Mount McLoughlin, 9,495; Mount Ashland, 7,532; Dutchman Peak, 7,417; Observation Peak, 7,340; and Wagner Butte, 7,253. McDonald ranks as the 198th highest mountain in Oregon and the 13,008th highest peak in the U.S.

If you're atop Mount Ashland or Wagner Butte it's distinctly visible, but not easily accessed. It's 1.86 miles west of Mount Ashland and 3.26 miles almost directly south of Wagner Butte. Split Rock Creek's headwaters flow from its northwest flank.

There are trails in the area, but nothing listed on directories.

The long-standing McDonald Peak Roadless Area has been part of multiple controversies over the years going back to the Clinton Administration. More recently it has been in the news as part of area that would be affected by the Mount Ashland ski area expansion.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.