Southern Oregon hiking trails don’t get as much press as some in other parts of the state, and that’s a shame, because this corner of the country is full of spectacular views. A great example of this is Hobart's Bluff, a fairly easy, 3 mile (45 minute) hike in Rogue Valley in the Green Springs area. It’s actually part of the Pacific Crest Trail, but works as an easy day stroll with a nice vista at the end.
Part of this hike’s popularity is thanks to its relative ease – most hikers will make it to the top without a problem. The only challenging spot would be right by the top, which a rocky bluff requires some determination to scale. But this leads straight to the main viewpoint, which is a rocky bluff of basaltic cliffs. From the right angle, the drop is impressive (and possibly intimidating). This is also a great spot to test your visual knowledge of nearby mountain silhouettes, with Mt. Ashland, Mt. Shasta, and Mt. McLaughlin standing in the distance.
Another draw to this part of the state is the rare flora. In spring the Hobart's Bluff trail is lined with a rich bounty of wildflowers. For those with an interest in Lepidoptera might want to keep an eye out for the mardon skipper, a rare species of butterfly. The species is only found in three other locations: the South Puget Sound lowlands of Washington; the southern Washington Cascades; and the coastal hills of northwest California.
This trail is close enough to Ashland to consider as a good hike if you’re in the area. The trailhead is at about the 20 mile post on highway 66 at a well-marked Siskiyou National Monument/Soda Mountain signpost. Just follow the PCT to the sign indicating Hobart Bluff.
Directions from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM):
"From I-5, take exit 14 and head east on Green Springs Highway for 15 miles. Turn right onto Soda Mountain Road 39-3E-32.3; drive 3.8 miles to junction of power line, PCT, and Soda Mountain Road. Take the Pacific Crest Trail north for about a mile to the Hobart trail junction, follow the trail to
the top of the bluff."
Learn More and see a map here: http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/csnm/files/green-springs.pdf