Grizzly Peak is a classic 5 mile mountain trail with stands of large spruce, fields of wild flowers, and spectacular views.
Driving – This 35 minute drive starts south through town on Main Street/Siskiyou towards the University. Turn left on Ashland Street towards Interstate 5. Don’t get on the Interstate! Go over it! The road sweeps to the right and you will hit an intersection for Dead Indian Road. Turn left and you’ll head uphill into the mountains for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye to your left for the Forest Service sign saying Shale City Road and Grizzly Peak. That dirt road will hit 3 other dirt intersections so follow the Grizzly Peak signs. There are great signs, do not fear. Finally you will dead end into a 2 tiered dirt parking lot.
Parking – There is lots of parking but you’ll need it on a busy weekend. There are 2 tiers of parking, and the trail leaves form the top tier neat the restrooms, but the bottom tier is only 10 feet away. Park wherever.
The Trail – From the pit toilet restroom head uphill. A well maintained trail through large conifers and flowery meadows with spectacular views. It’s pretty great stuff. After a couple miles you’ll hit the intersection of the lollipop. It’s a lollipop trail – you start on the stick, and then there is a loop at the top – get it? So left at the intersection sends you more quickly to the overlook. That is the more spectacular viewpoint of the Ashland valley below. Very dramatic. Added to by the burned out forest to your right. The remnants of dead trees with woodpeckers digging into their corpses is positively Wagnerian. But continue along the trail and the views continue. You will move along the ridge and then back into the woods towards the “summit.” Let’s just say that you turned right at the lollipop intersection. You would come across the “summit” quickly. But you’d almost miss it because it’s subtle and surrounded with low trees. Technically the “summit,” but completely forgettable. I mean go there, just so that you can say “I summited Grizzly Peak today!” That just sounds cool.