Hiking Grants Pass: Getting Outside in “The Climate”
The springtime hiking season is upon us, and Grants Pass has numerous beatific trails designed expressly for the purpose. Whether a local or just passing through, there are plenty of gorgeous hiking options to shake a stick at. Here are a just a few, moving from easy to more challenging:
Skycrest Trail: The Skycrest trail is a 1.6 mile forested, ambling loop that is part of the Cathedral Park trails system. Located south of Rt. 99 and Fruitdale drive, it is close to Grants Pass proper. It is rated as an easy trail, so it’s great for beginners, children, and dogs (unless your dog likes scrambling up steeper inclines). It’s woodsy and relaxing, and boasts some great views.
Rainie Falls Trail: The Rainie Falls trail starts at the Grave Creek Bridge, about 20 miles north of Grants Pass. It’s a scenic four-mile hike with a rocky trail that runs alongside the Rogue River and ends at the lush and beautiful Rainie Falls. There are some inclines that are fairly steep, which is why it is given a moderate difficulty level. This day hike length trail really gets hikers in touch with the wild and natural state of the Rogue River and Valley.
Rogue River Trail: For the somewhat more ambitious river trail hikers, this long, classic, and exciting trail fills the bill with flying colors. It passes very close to exhilarating Rogue River whitewater in some places, and climbs to high vistas in others. Starting also at Grave Creek and stretching more than 40 miles, this trail is at times steep and challenging (hence its rating as difficult), and is appropriate for backpacking treks of longer than one day. Several lodges offer food and accommodation along the way. Hikers/rafters sometimes even choose the option of rafting down the river to the end of the trail, landing, and hiking back. Moreover, the path passes by several sites of historical interest—namely the cabin of wild west author Zane Grey, the Whiskey Creek Cabin, and the Rogue River Ranch.