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The Wagner Butte Trail is a nice hike close to the Rogue Valley that offers panoramic views of the Rogue and Little Applegate Valleys and surrounding mountain peaks. Displays of wildflowers may be seen in early summer. Due to the difficulty in crossing a landslide area, stock are not recommended on this trail at this time. Water along the trail is not tested and maybe unsafe to drink.

Beginning on Forest Road 22 the trail crosses a small timber sale unit before following an abandoned roadbed for 1.2 miles to the edge of a massive landslide area. After crossing the slide, the trail climbs steeply for about two miles to Wagner Glade Gap, passing through old growth stands of Douglas, Noble and white fir. Deer and bear are frequently sighted within the glade area. From Wagner Glade the trail turns to the left and gradually ascends the western flank of Wagner Butte for two miles, ending at the base of an abandoned lookout.

Wagner Butte was the site of a former Forest Service lookout originally built in the 1920's and replaced with a cupola style lookout in the 1960's. The lookout was removed in the 1970's as airplane surveillance became a more efficient way to locate forest fires. The mountain is named after an early settler, Jacob Wagner, who lived in the Talent area and operated the flour mill near the Ashland plaza.

Directions: From Ashland, Travel west on Highway 66 1.4 miles past the Ashland Ranger Station to Siskiyou Boulevard. Turn right on to Siskiyou Boulevard, and continue for 6 miles to Rapp Road in Talent (Siskiyou Boulevard becomes Highway 99 north). Turn left on to Rapp Road and drive 1 mile to the junction of Wagner Creek Road and then drive 8 miles to the junction with Forest Road # 22. Turn left on to road #22 and continue 2 miles to a large parking area on the right. The trailhead begins to the left of the road.

Elevation: 4,960 feet

Ending Elevation: 7,140 feet

Distance: 5.2 miles

Usage: Light

Difficulty: Strenuous

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Rogue River National Forest, Oregon

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.