OverviewDifficulty: 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
Mount Shasta from the lookout tower
Lying on the Eastern side of the Siskiyou Mountain Range and blending with the Cascade Mountain Range is Soda Mountain. This summit is easy to access and the views are some of the best I’ve seen in Southern Oregon, rivaling the views I’ve seen from the top of Mount McLoughlin. While hiking along this Class 1 trail, there are great views off to your right of Mount Ashland, Pilot Rock, and many more of the Siskiyou Mountains. Down below to the right you can also see the little specks which make up the city of Ashland. There is a great view of Mount Shasta when you come up around the bend of the road near the summit and the lookout. Sitting just below Mount Shasta is Irongate Reservoir, which adds very nicely to the Scenic value of this landscape. The summit lookout is staffed during the summer months as a fire lookout, it was built back in 1933.
Getting ThereFrom 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 have a couple of options. You can either continue on this rough road by foot (it is not a nice road to drive with regular cars) for 2.1 miles or you can follow the Pacific Crest Trail for 1.1 miles and then take a spur to your left for 0.2miles. From there you will continue onward to the summit for just under one more mile using the same road you had the option of following where the Pacific Crest Trail started.
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. I chose the road, just because the Pacific Crest Trail appeared to have several feet of snow and looked like it would make navigation an interesting endeavor. Besides there was some clouds in the far distance that didn’t look all that friendly, so I wanted to tag the summit before they rolled in. 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.
Red TapeI believe this land is owned by the Bureau of Land Management. But they did not seem to realize that when I called them. To the best of my knowledge, there is no parking passes needed. The BLM was unable to tell me one way or the other.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY: Soda Mountain Road for the first couple of miles follows along residential property. Please respect the landowners by driving safely and obeying the 15mph speed limit.
When To ClimbSpring/Summer/Fall: Any of these seasons would be a great time to climb to the top of this summit. Just use the necessary precautions such as sunblock, bug spray, sunglasses. Regular hiking shoes and a day pack should suffice for this climb during theses months.
Winter: When climbing this in winter I would wear at minimum 2 layers. Maybe more depending on how cold or hot you get. For some a day pack would suffice, Snowshoes should definitely be taken with you for this one. Personally, anything over several miles, I take a pack that has a cold weather sleeping bag, a stove and other emergency overnight supplies. It may be extreme but better to be safe than sorry.
CampingI would imagine that camping would be allowed along the Pacific Crest Trail but aside from that I could not gleen that information from the BLM.
AVALANCHE DANGER: I didn’t see anything on this trail that absolutely jumped out at me and said avalanche danger except possibly near the top on last 300 yards or so of the road. Even then, it looked like it would be on a small scale. But still, just beware that it could be a possiblility.
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