GO HERE: Gliding Along The Rogue Valley Rim
The first icing of bright white on the Rogue basin’s rim is beckoning to all those gazing up from the valley. Fresh alpine powder will send seasoned skiers scrambling for wax and goggles, and inspire others to find their first foray into the winter adventure-land. Cross country skiing is an ideal way to experience quiet solitude, get a work-out, and develop a deeper understanding of our local treasures. As always, do your pre-trip research, check road conditions, and bring essential winter provisions. Remember to pick up a snow park permit at local venues like: NorthWest Nature Shop, Mountain Provisions, and Ashland Outdoor Store.
Head for hills! From the Dead Indian Memorial summit’s Buck Prairie, embark on rolling hills through big second growth forests with sneak peeks of Mt. McLaughlin, or choose to go further down the road and find access via Buck Prairie II. This network of trails lies just to the north of another developing trail network around the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Enjoy the expanse of Howard Prairie, the varied woods by Table Mountain snow play area, or vistas from Chinquapin Mountain. A good snow-trail map for this area was release recently and can be accessed online at BLM.gov or picked up at the kiosk by the Greensprings Inn.
Are you an aficionado of scenic vistas, or just looking for dramatic backdrop for your next selfie? Either way, the Mt. Ashland gateway to the Siskiyou Crest will serve up a healthy dose of the freedom of the hills. From the back parking lot, ski along Forest Road 20. (It’s advisable to go with someone that knows the route.) The many side trips off the road to MacDonald Peak, Siskiyou Peak, Meridian Ridge, Wagner Gap will make you want to come back time and time again. Clear daytime skies will leave you ecstatic as a bluebird, but also burnt if you forget sun protection. Consider going under clear nighttime skies, and you may find there is nothing more peaceful—just don’t forget a thermos of hot cocoa!