Getting ThereTo find the trailhead from Interstate 5 in Medford take either the North or South exit from I-5 and follow the signs to Jacksonville and Hwy 238. Jacksonville is a quaint historical town located about 6 miles west of Medford. The whole town of Jacksonville is on the National Historic Register because of its well preserved buildings from the 1850’s when gold was discovered nearby. After driving through the middle of Jacksonville continue on Hwy 238 towards Grants Pass. About 4.7 miles from the stop sign on Hwy 238 and Oregon Street, turn right on the paved Forest Creek Road.
Forest Creek Road is paved for the first mile and then turns to a great dirt road. There are many homes along here on both sides of the road, so watch for pedestrians, animals, and OHV’s. At 2.5 miles from Hwy 238 stay left and at 4.2 miles turn left on Oregon Belle Road. Oregon Belle Road is paved, but it is narrow and crooked. Stay on Oregon Belle for 2.4 miles up to a ridgeline saddle. Turn right on the gravel road and stop at the gate about 100yds up the road. This is the trailhead and the elevation here is 3,510ft.
Route DescriptionThe route to the top of Mt. Isabelle is easy to follow because it is a road hike. From the parking area at the gate, walk around the gate and continue down the road to a saddle about 200 yds from the gate. Mt. Isabelle is straight ahead. The road forks in this saddle. Take the left fork that climbs steeply up the hill. This is a 4WD road and it ascends steeply all the way to the summit. There are a couple of switchbacks in the road and another gate about .25 mile before the summit. Just stay on the road right to the top where there is a communications building and one antenna. On the back side (west side) of the building there is a summit register in a red can.
The total round trip hike is about 2.3 miles and you gain 950ft. It only takes about 1.5 hours for this hike if you stop and take lots of pictures. Take your lunch for a picnic.