The Trailhead for Eight Dollar Mountain is easy to find. Find Highway 199 (Redwood Highway) between Grants Pass and Cave Junction. At Milepost 24, which is 24 miles south of Grants Pass and 4 miles north of Cave Junction, turn west onto Eight Dollar Road. This is well signed and indicates the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area is 17 miles from this intersection. You only have to drive 1.0 mile from the Highway 199. At 1.0 mile there is a newly paved single lane road on your right that usually has a locked gate across the road. Across the road from the paved road is a large gravel parking area with room for at least 20 vehicles. Park here.
Elevation of the trailhead is about 1,360 ft. Cross the road and walk around the gate up the paved road. In about 100 yards the pavement ends at a nice fancy trailhead with a new vault toilet. There is a raised beautiful trail that goes off to the right. It is worth walking the 300 yards to the end of the raised trail to view a beautiful field of cobra lilies ( Darlingtonia californica).
After viewing the cobra lilies, get back on the road and go around the new yellow gate and head up the road that is now gravel. Ignore all the small roads that branch off both sides of the main road. Stay on the main gravel road and keep going uphill. The road makes at least 12 switchbacks as it climbs up to the summit. When you reach an area that has been burned in a fire you are getting close to the summit with only about 800 ft more of elevation to gain.
Just before the summit you will see an electrical power line crossing the road and then some electrical towers in the distance. The towers are on the summit, so keep going until you see 2 newer metal buildings on your right. I think the highpoint is near these buildings. I walked around both sides of the buildings and touched all the small boulders that had been pushed out of the way during the construction of the buildings. Don’t mess with any of the equipment up here. I’m sure there are surveillance cameras somewhere.
Head back down the same way you came up. If you didn’t go see the cobra lilies on the way up, do so on the way down. Overall hike was 7.0 miles, elevation gain was 2,625 ft, and it took me just under 3 hours. I made good time on this hike because it was raining on me.
The 10 essentials are always required. Take enough water as there is none on the route. In the summer, this hike can be quite warm, take a hat, sun glasses, and sun screen. There is a cell phone relay tower on the summit so your cell phone should work any where on the route.
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