This is a unique section of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. The trail winds along the western flank of Brown Mountain crossing rugged lava flows on a cinder trail surface. There are good views of Brown Mountain, Robinson Butte, and Mt. McLoughlin in this section. Alternating between thick stands of mixed conifer forest and open vistas, the trail also passes several isolated stands of quaking aspen. During the late summer huckleberries are abundant the last two miles of the trail. There are no water sources along the way.
Beginning at the parking area off Highway 140 a short 0.2 mile access trail leads to the PCNST. At this junction, turn left (south) and follow the trail along the Cascade Canal for half a mile to Highway 140. The trail crosses the Highway and continues for half a mile to the junction with the High Lakes Trail. It is about 1.6 miles to the Fish Lake Resort area to the west.
Continuing south, the trail begins a five mile traverse over the Brown Mountain lava flows, gaining 800 feet in elevation. Once leaving the lava flows, the trail enters a dense conifer forest. Solomon seal, princess pine and huckleberries blanket the forest floor. A small campsite is reached just prior to the junction with Brown Mountain Trail (8.6 mile point). From this junction the trail continues south another two miles to forest road #700. This is the ending point for this hike. Some may wish to extend the trip to the trailhead on the Dead Indian Memorial Road 1.9 miles further south.
Directions: From Ashland, This is a good trail to use a car shuttle. Leave the first vehicle at access #2, and drive to access #1 to start your hike or horseback ride.Access # 1 (Highway 140) : Travel east the Dead Indian Memorial Highway for 22 miles to the junction with forest road #37. (Big Elk Rd.). Turn left on to road Rd. #37 and proceed 8 miles to the junction with Highway 140. Turn right on to Highway 140 and continue 4.2 miles to forest road #3650 (just past the Klamath County Line sign). Turn left on to road #3650 and turn left immediately on to road #010. Follow rd. #010 to the large parking area. Horse hitching racks and toilet facilities are available at this trailhead. A short 0.2 mile access trail on the west end of the parking area leads to the PCNST.Access #2 (Road #700) : From Ashland follow Dead Indian Memorial Highway for 31 miles to forest road #3720. Turn left on to road #3720 and go 2 miles to road #700. Turn right on to road #700 and continue 0.4 mile to where the PCNST crosses the road. Parking is available for two vehicles between the road #500 spur and the trail. Leave one vehicle here and return to road #3720. Turn right and go to 2 miles road #3705. Turn right again and drive and drive 4 miles to road #37. Turn right on to road #37 and go 2.2 miles to Highway 140. Turn right and drive 4.2 miles to road #3650. Turn left and then make another immediate left onto road #010. Follow to the trailhead parking area.Access #3 (Dead Indian Memorial Highway) : This option extends the hike described to 12.5 miles. From Ashland, follow the Dead Indian Memorial Highway for 32 miles to the Pacific Crest trailhead. Parking is available for 7 or 8 vehicles. Leave one vehicle here and return to road #3720 (less than 1 mile back). Turn right and go 4 miles to road #3705. Turn right again and drive 4 miles to road #37. Turn right on to road #37 and go 2.2 miles to Highway 140. Turn right and drive 4 miles to road #3650. Turn left and then make another immediate left on to road #010. Follow to the trailhead parking area.
Elevation: 5,100 feet
Ending Elevation: 5,200 feet
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
Distance: 10.6 miles
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