ApproachDifficulty: Class 1
Distance: 4.2 miles round-trip during summer or 7.2 miles round-trip during winter
Elevation Gain: 800 feet during summer or 2300 feet during winter
Differences in distance and elevation gain are due solely to the road being snowed in during the winter
From Interstate 5 take the Ashland Exit 14 and head East onto Highway 66 for 15 miles. The access road to Soda Mountain will be approximately 200 feet or so before the Green Springs Mountain Summit Sign. As long as you are looking for the Soda Mountain Road, you shouldn’t have a problem finding it. This road will be marked as Soda Mountain Road 39-3E-32.3. When the road is accessible after the snow melts, you will follow it 3.7 miles to some powerlines that cross the road. There is minimal parking beyond the lines. At this point you will see Pacific Crest Trail markers to both your right and your left. Follow the Pacific Crest Trail to the right. The Pacific Crest Trail will branch off to your left after about 1.1 miles, follow this little spur for 0.2 miles and it will meet up with the road that you had the option of hiking up when you were back at the Pacific Crest Trail. Follow this road up to your right and continue on for 0.8 miles to the summit. If hiking to the summit of this peak in the Winter time follow the same directions to Soda Mountain Road. This is where it changes a little. Most likely the road will be plowed up to about 2.2 miles. From here you will have to hike the additional 1.5 miles to where the Pacific Crest Trail meets with Road. From the junction of the Pacific Crest Trail you will climb about 800 feet in 2.1 miles to reach the summit. Prior to that though you will gain about 1500 feet in 1.5 miles just hiking the road up.
Route DescriptionI have not actually hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in the winter as it was very covered with snow and would have been pretty difficult to navigate as my GPS would have probably put me right back on the road anyhow. It pretty much runs parallel with the road that leads to the summit.
Essential GearSUMMER: Sunglasses, sunblock, hat, plenty of water, bug spray, daypack, tennis shoes and most definately a camera.
WINTER: Compass, Map, GPS, Sunglasses, sunblock, at least two layers suitable for winter weather. Daypack should be sufficient for a nice day, but I always pack for overnight during the winter (i.e. stove, fuel, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, something to boil snow in), for anything longer than 4 miles round trip. This may be a little overkill, but I get more exercise carrying a heavier pack and I am more prepared for what could happen. Boots that are rated for winter climbing and SNOWSHOES ARE A MUST. Oh, and don't forget your camera.