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HIKING PILOT ROCK

This popular trail features incredible views of the valley and surrounding mountain ranges, as well as a bit of rock climbing to the very top vantage point if you're up for it!

As you begin your hike at the trailhead, you’ll notice the majestic Mount Mcloughlin to your left, and forests of beautiful trees along either side. Follow the trail past Emigrant Creek, as you pass through Douglas firs and wildflowers in the early summer months. You will likely see some snow along the trail if you’re hiking in spring. 

After about ¾ of a mile, you’ll encounter the Pacific Crest Trail toward your left. Follow the PCT for approximately ¼ mile until you get to the sign for the turn-off to Pilot Rock. From here the trail will begin to incline towards the different vantage points, offering some amazing views of not only Pilot Rock but Mount Ashland and the Siskiyou Range into California. The switchbacks gain in elevation and difficulty as you continue on for ½ mile. At this point, the trails end and the scramble begins!

Many will end their journey here, with gorgeous flat rocks to picnic on and many other outlooks to capture photography. If you continue, know that the climb can get rather technical and the descent is difficult. The terrain is littered with scree and can be unstable. It is recommended you do not trek to the top alone. If you climb to the top you will be rewarded with a 360-degree view of our region, with views of Mount Shasta, Mount Mcloughlin and Mount Ashland. Be cautious upon your descent, going back the way you came. 

A popular way to see the entire rogue - Pilot Rock is an incredible, rewarding challenge for hikers!

Pilot Rock

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Average Distance: 2.5 - 3 miles out and back, depending on whether you summit

Parking: Free

Restrooms: Public vault restrooms at trailhead 

Optimal Season: May - October

A volcanic plug within the Cascade Mountain Range near Ashland, Pilot Rock is one of the most distinguishable landmarks of Southern Oregon. The hike offers a unique scrambling challenge for seasoned hikers and rock climbers - and spectacular views throughout the entire hike. The trail is great for day hiking, equestrian (along the Pacific Crest Trail sections), bird watching, photography, and dog walking on a leash. Use cation for ticks and poison oak in the warmer months, slippery conditions in the cooler months, and technical climbing if you choose to summit.

Pilot Rock, things to do, hiking, hikes, trails, favorite locations, outdoor adventure, Medford

Take Interstate 5 south from Medford past Ashland. Get off at exit 6 (Mount Ashland). Take exit 6 toward Old Hwy 99 South. Continue onto Old Hwy 99 South for 1.9 miles. Turn left onto Pilot Rock Road (40-2E-33) and follow for 2 miles to the trailhead. This is a dirt road, 4 or all-wheel drive not required but recommended.

Whether you are looking for a challenging scramble or a peaceful day hiking with friends and family, you are sure to enjoy hiking Pilot Rock! Can't get enough hiking? Luckily for you, the Heart of the Rogue is full of treasures to explore!

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