OverviewDifficulty: Ranges from Class 2 to Easy Class 4
Distance: Approximately 9 miles Round Trip if starting from the PCT
Elevation Gain: Approximately 1500 feet
Rising up like a beacon over almost 20,000 acres of it's namesake wilderness, is the Red Buttes. Members of the Siskiyou Mountain Range, their geology consists of schist, quartzite, gneiss, serpentine, white marble, and periodotite. Mainly receiving their color from high Iron and Magnesium content. It is actually quite amazing when hiking and climbing these beauties the diversity of the rock that you will see. The steepness of the surrounding slopes is unlike anything else I have seen while hiking/climbing in the Siskiyou mountain range. It truely is a treat for the eyes.
When climbing the Red Buttes, if the highest point is your goal you will want to head for the Western summit. The climb will consist of scrambling through Manzanita brush, boulder hopping, some lose talus at times and some good old fashioned scrambling over some pretty solid rock. Difficulty level will get as difficult as easy class 4.
Getting ThereFrom I-5 North or South near Medford follow signs West to the town of Jacksonville. Once heading in this direction for about 8 miles(highway 238) through the town of Jacksonville, you will reach the settlement of Ruch. Once in Ruch you will turn towards an Upper Applegate pointer for approximately 19 miles. At the end of Applegate Lake you will reach a T-shaped intersection. From here turn left onto Applegate Road for 1.2 miles to a gravel intersection. Continue straight on Road 1050 for 0.9 miles and then fork to the right onto Road 1055 for 10 more miles.
Disclaimer: A High Clearance vehicle would be handy on this road but, if you are careful you MAY be able to get up it with a lower clearance vehicle. I personally would try myself because that is all I have. That being said, if you have a high clearance vehicle, you should use it.
AT THIS POINT YOU HAVE A COUPLE OF OPTIONS:
1. Park here and hike the Pacific Crest Trail approximately 3 miles to the base of the Red Buttes. Do this by taking the Pacific Crest Trail to your right as you enter the Parking lot area.
2. If you have a 4X4 (Absolute MUST for this option) you can take the steep, rocky, fairly exposed road for 3 miles to the base of the Red Buttes.
If you choose to drive the road and you are using a 4WD truck, it will take you just about the same amount of time to reach the base of the Red Buttes as it will to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. You will mainly just be saving your feet. That being said, if you have a 4 wheeler, you can probably shave off a lot of time.
Red TapeThe following wilderness regulations are in effect for this area. Not all regulations are in effect for every wilderness.
CACHING OF EQUIPMENT PROHIBITED
No caching of food, supplies, or equipment.
CAMPSITE RESTRICTION - MANDATORY SETBACK FROM WATER : 100 FEET
Camping prohibited within 100 feet from lakes; 50 feet from streams or springs. over-use in these areas has led to severe loss of ground cover.
MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE: 8 MEMBERS
Group size limits, for both people and numbers of stock aim to preserve the legally mandated opportunities for finding solitude in Red Buttes Wilderness.
MAXIMUM NUMBER OF STOCK: 12 HEARTBEATS
This number of permitted stock aimed to allow groups of up to 8 people to ride and use packstock for overnight visits.
NOTE: The permits referred to are State of California campfire permits, required during fire season regardless of whether inside or outside wilderness; obviously is applicable only within California portion of Red Buttes.
STOCK FEED RESTRICTED
The short growing season in this high-elevation area requires that, in order to preserve long-term grass and forb communities, grazing be restricted and that weed-free feed be used to prevent invasion of noxious weeds.
STOCK USE RESTRICTION - GRAZING PROHIBITED
No grazing before August 1. Because of the short growing season in the high-elevation area, grazing is restricted until after grass seed has "set" and dropped (i.e., usually after August 1).
STOCK USE RESTRICTION - MANDATORY SETBACK FROM WATER : 200 FEET
This regulation is enforced in order to maintain clean water and prevent de-vegetation of lakeshore areas.
STOCK USE RESTRICTION - NO HITCHING OR TETHERING : 1 HOUR
New special order, but same regulations as in previous years. This reg aims to reduce the mortality of trees and to end the creation of dusty/muddy stock-holding sites.
CampingThere is camping at the base of the Red Buttes available just about 100 yards up the road from the starting point. There is also camping available at the Pacific Crest Trailhead 3 miles before you actually reach the base of the buttes.
There is even a wind break made on the summit, if you choose to bivy up there.
Good hiking/climbing shoes
Plenty of water
Pants (to keep from scratching your legs up from the brush)
Bug Spray (Best to climb in late Summer/early Autumn to avoid bugs)
Cold Weather gear
WildlifeWildlife that you may encounter include:
Ringed Tailed Cat
ContactsApplegate Ranger District
6941 Upper Applegate Road
Jacksonville, OR 97530
Rogue River/Siskiyou National Forest
PO Box 520
Medford, OR 97501
WeatherLink to weather for the actual Red Buttes Wilderness - Red Buttes Weather Link
Click the Satellite picture for a video loop of current weather
2skinners Other Mountain PagesFeel free to check out my other mountain pages and pictures as well.
DELAWARE MOUNTAINS (HIGHPOINT):
Crater Lake Caldera
Lower Table Rock
Upper Table Rock
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