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HIKING THE EAST APPLEGATE RIDGE TRAIL

A popular yet challenging trail located outside of Jacksonville, the East Applegate Ridge Trail - often referred to as the EART - offers spectacular views of the Applegate Valley!


There are many ways to experience the EART. It can be hiked as an out and back small section, an approximately 5.25 miles thru-hike from Sterling Creek Road to Highway 238 or vice versa, or a 10.5 miles out and back. A locally acclaimed method to hiking the trail is to hike with a buddy - taking two vehicles and parking one at either end of the trailhead for easier traveling. The difficulty of the hike is dependent on where you start, and whether or not you are hiking the EART as a point-to-point thru-hiker or an out and back. Starting from the Highway 238 side will offer the biggest challenge as you will climb 1400 feet in under 2.5 miles with few switchbacks. 


Once you've made the climb, the trail travels along the East Applegate Ridge, offering views of the Applegate Valley below and snow-capped Pacific Coast Range, with the towering Siskiyou Mountains above them. Wildflowers line the trail in the spring months and manzanita, pine and fir trees grow along the ridge. An array of wildlife from deer, lizards, to the occasional golden eagle will appear as you make your way down the ridge. 


Be sure to keep your eyes up toward the south where you will see Woodrat Mountain, a popular launch point for paragliders from around the world and the production sight of feature films and national television commercials featuring paragliding. Outdoor adventurers make their way to Southern Oregon to enjoy the world class paragliding Woodrat Mountain has to offer and on the EART you will have a front row seat. 


Whether you’re just hiking a short portion of the EART from Sterling Creek Road along the ridge or challenging yourself to a long out and back starting at Highway 238, the EART is a beautiful and exciting trail that you can't miss! 

East Applegate Ridge Trail, EART, things to do, hiking, hikes, trails, favorite locations, outdoor adventure, Medford

The East Applegate Ridge Trail

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Average Distance: 5.25 point to point (thru-hike) | 10.5 miles round trip 

Parking: Free, but fills up quickly on the weekends

Restrooms: Pit toilet at Sterling Creek Trailhead | No facilities at 238 Trailhead 

Optimal Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

The East Applegate Ridge Trail is the perfect location for trail running, day hiking, photography, and dog walking with a leash! Be cautious of ticks and poison oak in the hotter months, and mud or snow / ice in the cooler months.

East Applegate Ridge Trail, EART, things to do, hiking, hikes, trails, favorite locations, outdoor adventure, Medford

Take Oregon Highway 62 (Crater Lake Highway) west until it turns into Rossanley Lane (Highway 238). Continue 2.2 miles and turn left onto Hanley Road (Highway 238 continued). Follow Highway 238 for 2.8 miles through Jacksonville. Turn right on East California Street.

To Trailhead at 238 from Jacksonville: Pass through the intersection at Oregon Street and continue on California Street (Highway 238 continued) for 5.2 miles. A sign on 238 will indicate when you are 325 feet from the turn. The trailhead is to your left, follow the short dirt drive to the trailhead.

To Trailhead at Sterling Creek Road: Turn left on Oregon St. for .2 miles then left on Applegate Street for 0.9 miles. Applegate Street becomes Oregon Street for 0.1 miles, takes a slight left and turns into Cady Road. Take Cady Road for .6 miles to Sterling Creek Road and continue for 4.1 miles.  There will be a small sign on your right indicating the East Applegate Ridge Trail. It is small and easy to miss. Make a right at the sign onto 38-2-29.1. Follow 38-2-29.1, a narrow dirt road for 0.6 miles to the trailhead.

Whether you are looking for a solo venture trail running, or a hike with your furry friend, you are sure to enjoy a hiking adventure on the East Applegate Ridge Trail. Can't get enough hiking? Luckily for you, the Heart of the Rogue is full of treasures to explore!

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