This is a lovely hike, short and scenic, with little elevation gain and great views of the surrounding area. Located east of Ashland, the trail is only four miles in total, making it a great options for a casual morning-to-afternoon jaunt in the woods.
The trail starts just beyond a parking lot, where it connects with part of the Pacific Crest Trail. You’ll find a sign pointing northwards to the Green Springs Loop Trail. From the trailhead you’ll skirt a meadow and pass through a gate. This will start you down a counterclockwise loop through a shady conifer forest. Sharp eyes will be sure to spot some feathered antics in the trees here, especially from the local favorites: Lewis’ Woodpecker, Great Grey Owl, Western Bluebird, Western Meadowlark, and the Northern Spotted Owl.
About 1.2 miles down the trees will clear and you’ll pass into a meadow. Among the rich mosaic of grass and shrublands is a wealth of wildflowers. In the spring and summer you’ll catch them in their colorful glory, and you might get lucky and find some wild strawberries to nibble on as you walk to the viewpoint just ahead. The vista here looks out onto the Rough River Valley, and also views of Mt. Ashland and Pilot Rock.
Finish the loop by heading down the trail through the remnants of an old-growth forest (mostly charred by a forest fire) and crossing another meadow. Take one last look around for the rare Mardon skipper that makes the occasional appearance here, and then pass out of the meadow. You’ll head back under the shelter of trees, mostly conifers and oaks, before arriving back at the trailhead.
Directions: From I-5, take exit 14 and head east on Green Springs Highway for 15.5 miles until you reach the Green Springs Summit. Take a left at Green Springs Summit, head up Little Hyatt Road and continue straight on BLM road 39-3E-32. Turn left on BLM road 39-3E-32. You’ll soon spot a small parking turnout on the left.