August 13, 2005 I headed out from Medford, Oregon to climb some Prominence Peaks in California. First I tagged Indian Creek Baldy after a long access drive and a short hike. Next on my list was Bully Choop Mountain. This was another long drive and short hike. Mount Hoffman was my final goal on a long day of driving.
On the way up road 49 from hwy 89 I saw a bear standing in the middle of the road. At first, I thought it was a large black dog standing in the road, but when he turned and ran away, there was no mistaking it was a bear. I kept going and soon I was passing Medicine Lake. This is a really beautiful area and I want to go back someday just to explore the area and do some camping. The road turned to gravel somewhere along here, but it is a very good gravel road and I made good time. I could see Mount Hoffman above the lake on the ridgeline to the north.
I followed road 49 north to the intersection with 44N01 and turned right. The turn off to the geothermal site isn’t marked and is a lot more primitive than 44N01. I followed this road up to where there were some trees down blocking further progress. I decided to hike from here and followed the road to the geothermal site. There is nothing here, just a big cleared spot in the forest. It was already late in the afternoon, so I looked at my GPS and headed south towards Mount Hoffman through the forest.
The route finding was easy and the footing was good. I kept heading in the direction that my GPS indicated. There were areas of volcanic rocks that had to be climbed over or around, but nothing too difficult. Soon I was climbing up to the summit area and hoping to get good views of the surrounding area.
The views weren’t all that great, but I took a few pictures before heading back down to find my car. Fortunately, I had my GPS to help me find the same route I used in coming up to the summit. I didn’t want to waste any time returning because daylight was fading. My GPS was right on and I found the Geothermal site and followed the road back to my car. This hike took about 2.75 hours, covered 5.5 miles and gained 1,500ft.
Since it was near the end of the day, I headed out to Hwy 139 and then north to Klamath Falls and then home. This was a long day of driving with over 550 miles logged.