Hike Collings Mountain in Oregon

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
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Hike Collings Mountain in Oregon
Question: I have one early October weekday (I can sleep over two nights at location) in southern Oregon or northern California. I'll be driving out from Medford and I'm looking for a 12-hour round-trip hike that will get me into alpine meadows and offer me good mountain vistas. Would enjoy a non-technical climb. Many thanks for your advice!

Tom Reese
Potomac, MD
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: In the interest of cramming it all--and by that I mean old mine shafts, Sasquatch-sighting potential, and great summit views--into an overnight trip, I'd recommend a 14-mile round-trip trek to the summit of Collings Mountain in Oregon's Rogue River National Forest. This fairly strenuous hike will take you from the trailhead in Hart-Tish Park, past an old miner's cabin and a now-defunct Bigfoot trap, to a long, steady climb through Grouse Creek Valley. From there, the route switchbacks steeply along a ridge beneath the crest of Collings Mountain. If you're feeling ambitious, make the short bushwhack to the summit, although the views from the trail are just as good. From here, follow the trail as it descends south from Collings to a campsite at Watkin Campground. Retrace your steps back to Hart-Tish Park in the morning.

To find the trailhead, drive about eight miles west of Medford to the Applegate River Road and take it south about 15 miles, through the national forest boundary, to the parking area in the upper end of Hart-Tish. Best source for additional trail info is the Applegate Ranger District (541-899-1812). The Northwest Information Center in Portland (503-872-2750) sells Rogue River National Forest maps for $3. For other ideas, check out Pacific Northwest Hiking, by Ron Judd and Dan Nelson (Foghorn Press, $18.95).

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