Ashland lies in the shadow of Grizzly Peak, a 5,920-foot reminder that we live in a valley with peaks to conquer.
Butterfly-attracting wildflowers blanket the mountain, and past fires have created another aesthetic layer. As if captured in one of Tim Burton's dark, quirky movies, a still-charred hillside is riddled with snags, dead trees that have become home to small creatures.
The mountain with a bear's moniker also offers one of the best picnic opportunities in Oregon. Hike to the top with a few sandwiches, take in views of Emigrant Lake and the Rogue Valley, and see for yourself.
A Summer Day is a series of photo-driven looks at Ashland outdoor activities. If you want to share your favorite place to go or thing to do, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The hike is perfect when temperatures skyrocket in the valley. Every activity feels better in cooler mountain air.
There are two hiking options: To the picnic area, which is about 2.2 miles round trip, or the full loop, a more strenuous 4.6 miles.
The full hike will take you through different types of woodlands, including a pine forest, prairies and the hillside burned during the East Antelope fire of 2002.
Although there are no bears on top, you may see a grazing cow or two.
"It's just the perfect summer day up here," says Suzanne Marshall of Ashland, who hikes it weekly. "I like the wildflowers."
Amelia Covert Zeve, 13, is a wilderness enthusiast who attends Willow Wind Community Learning Center. Contact her at email@example.com.