There are two ways to get the trailhead for Kerby Peak. One is from the small town of Selma on Highway 199 and the other is from the small town of Williams in the Applegate Valley. Access from Williams is somewhat complicated and requires passage over a high pass on a one lane road. The road is paved, but it is slow going.
From Grants Pass head south on Highway 199 to the small town of Selma. At the main intersection near the market where there is a flashing yellow light, turn left on Deer Creek Road. Follow Deer Creek Road for several miles (7-8) eastward until you reach White Creek Road and then turn right. There is a sign on the corner indicating the Kerby Peak Trail is to the right. Follow the paved White Creek Road for about ½ mile to a road with another Kerby Peak Trail sign on the left. Turn left on this nice gravel road and follow it about 3 miles to the trailhead that is marked with another Kerby Peak Trail sign. There is parking for at least 5 vehicles near the trailhead.
The Kerby Peak Trail starts next to the access road and between the main road and a smaller spur road going off to the left. The trail is wide and beautiful, but it is steep. The trailhead is at about 2,940 ft and climbs steeply in the first 1.5 miles up to a rocky ridge at 4,400 ft. This is a beautiful climb through old growth forest on a magnificent trail.
Once on the rocky ridge the trail continues south and is not nearly as steep. Good views to the east are available as the trail bypasses an intervening sub peak before you can see the rocky summit area of Kerby Peak. Fortunately, the trail builders found an easy way up the slope. The trail switchbacks several times up a Manzanita covered slope until you reach another saddle on the ridge at about 5,300 ft. The trail heads south up the ridge and this is the area where you will see several Brewers spruce trees. The trail is easy to follow and culminates on the summit where the old fire lookout was located.
The total hike covers about 6.5 miles, gains about 2,600 ft in elevation, and took me 3 hours.
The 10 essentials are always required. There is no water on the trail, so take all you need. There are no forks on the trail, so it would be difficult to get lost unless the trail is covered in snow. There are black bears in the area, so take proper precautions.