GO HERE: Hikes With a View
Snow-topped peaks and green valleys provide excellent eye-candy this time of year. Hikers (and painters and photographers) seeking a vantage point will be rewarded for their efforts. Southern Oregon offers plenty of spots for wide expansive views at the end of a good hike. Local go-tos include the ever popular Table Rock trails, Grizzly Peak, and Pilot Rock, to name just a few. For the more adventurous, several places exist a bit further from the normal hiking staples. As warmer temperatures increase, that high elevation snow will retreat, allowing outdoorsy art makers a chance to create and recreate.
Mount Scott: Undoubtedly, the most breathtaking view of the deepest lake in the country. This small stratovolcano on the southeast flank of Crater Lake is the highest point within the park. A small lookout tower waits on the summit at the end of relatively gradual trail (4.4 miles round trip). Though this may not be open for a few months, it is a must, and should be kept in mind once temperatures begin to rise again.
Red Butte: Atop the 20,000 acre Red Buttes Wilderness, an area that sits between Oregon and California in the Siskiyou Mountains, these views are expansive. Enjoy the high peaks of the Marble Mountains to the south, the gentler peaks of the Siskiyous to the east (with Mount Mcloughlin just behind), the dominating Preston Peak to the west, and the ever present Mt. Shasta. Snow may exist for a while still, though anyone with enough determination can make it to the top. When not taking in the stunning views, stop to appreciate the wide range of bright colors that comprise the weathered rocks. Don’t be surprised if you have the whole place to yourself.
Wagner Butte: Located in the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest southwest of Ashland, Wagner Butte overlooks Bear Creek Valley and on clear days offers views of the Rogue and Applegate Valleys as well as Mt. Shasta and Mt. Thielson. Accessible from late spring until late fall, though make sure forecast looks good before you head out. Best to start early to avoid crippling heat and thunderstorms.
Stein Buttes: A great hike for both the visually and historically-minded hikers. Hydraulic, surface, and lode mining activity can be found along the trail which begins at the Seattle Bar Day Use Area. Stunning views of Applegate Lake and the Siskiyou Mountains can be seen from the ridge.