OverviewFlat Rock is a minor rocky peak located just outside the western edge of the Rogue-Umpqua Divide wilderness in SW Oregon. While unremarkable in most aspects, the easy approach and short hike make it a worthwhile jaunt. Views of Diamond Peak are superlative.
Getting ThereFrom I-5 exit 129 in Roseburg, follow signs for Diamond Lake to Diamond Lake blvd (which becomes highway 138 in a mile or so) and follow it for approximately sixteen miles until just before the small town of Glide. Turn right on Little River road (eventually becoming road 27) and follow it for close to twenty miles, following signs for Hemlock Lake. When you reach the lake, drive across the dam and back into the woods for a short distance to the parking lot, picnic area and trailhead.
Red TapeNorthwest Forest Park Pass.
CampingCamping is available at Lake In the Woods, Hemlock Lake and numerous other sites along Little River rd.
WeatherWeather for Glide, Oregon here: Weather.com
The TrailThe path starts out behind the sign near the picnic area (at the fork in the road), and sets off through a forest of fir trees for a short distance before crossing a beautiful meadow with a small stream meandering through it. When we visited here in December, the meadow was a foot deep in snow and the creek was frozen solid.
The trail soon heads back into the woods, but maintains a pretty flat grade for the first half mile or so, passing through or near multiple small meadows. The last half of the first mile starts heading uphill a bit more steeply, but it still just a moderate hike. After a mile, the trail reaches a signed junction. Take the right hand fork, proceed across a small saddle, and once more head uphill, contouring around the southwest side of the mountain to the northwest side near the summit. A few final switchbacks lead to an airy, rocky platform far above the forest below. Views include Bohemia Mtn.,Diamond Peak, Howlock Mtn., Mt Bailey, Mt. Thielsen, and many others beyond.
The true summit is located in the trees a short distance along a gentle ridge. There are many rocks along the summit, including some substantial cliffs and slabs. There are many opportunities for scrambling, bouldering, top-roping and maybe even some trad climbing, though much of it is mossy and crusted with lichens.