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Split Rock Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

3.1 mile 5.0 kilometer point to point
78% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 618' 189 m
Descent: -1,008' -307 m
High: 7,199' 2,194 m
Low: 6,517' 1,986 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 48% (26°)

Dogs

Off-leash
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Map Key

Trail shared by Torsten Heycke

Challenging and sometimes faint, this stunning trail traverses a ridge from near the PCT to Wagner Glade Gap.

Torsten Heycke

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

No mountain bikes or equestrians.

Runner Notes

This is a stunningly beautiful, high altitude run with some tenuous footing in places. It is easy to get off trail. Split Rock trail is part of the Pine to Palm 100-mile endurance run.

Description

This is a designated class-1 Forest Service trail which means it is minimally developed with intermittent tread that is often indistinct. This pedestrian-only trail is relatively easy to identify at both ends. The Split Rock trailhead on Road 20 is about 3.6 miles west from the Mt Ashland ski lodge. There is a small possibility of parking to the north--one to two cars worth. Once on the trail, try to stay on it as this area features some endangered, fragile plant species--Tauschia Howellii.

Heading north the trail ascends toward McDonald Peak and then heads steeply down into some groves of trees before re-emerging into an open meadow. This pattern of treed and meadowed areas repeats with the addition of some escarpment edges and one particularly rocky area. The actual Split Rock is shown on maps, but it is hard to pinpoint when running. The trail flattens out somewhat as one approaches Wagner Glade gap. From there one can continue 2 more miles up to the Wagner Butte Lookout (that's a 10-mile + out and back from FS Road 20, so make sure you have enough gas in the tank to make it back!).

It is easy to get off trail. Much of the trail is from a cow herder's fence line and you'll see remnants of old barbed-wire. Grazing hasn''t taken place here in a long time, the barbed wire fence is down, and nature has taken over and the trail has grown in. Ashland Woodlands and Trails has done minimum maintenance, per the Forest Service, mostly redirecting users away from endangered plants species. Use the Trail Run Project mobile app to help find your way.

The views are unsurpassed: Mt Shasta, Mt McLoughlin, Mt Ashland, the Rogue Valley, the Marble Mtns, the Trinity Alps, and the coastal range. Various wildflowers abound in late spring, early summer.

The snow often lasts until July.

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 4 votes

#6

in Ashland

#8068

Overall
  4.0 from 4 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
25%
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0%
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Trail Rankings

#6

in Ashland

#221

in Oregon

#8,068

Overall
8 Views Last Month
1,577 Since Jun 29, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
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33%
0%
67%
0%

Photos

The Split Rock Trail enters open meadow with Shasta and McDonald Peak in the background.
Jun 29, 2017 near Ashland, OR
Split Rock: Is this the namesake? (Mt. McLoughlin stands in the background.)
Jun 29, 2017 near Ashland, OR
Looking west from Wagner Glade Gap
Oct 29, 2017 near Ashland, OR
The Split Rock Trail is faint but delightful.
Jun 29, 2017 near Ashland, OR
Split Rock harbors plenty of unexpected beauty.
Jun 29, 2017 near Ashland, OR
Split Rock wildflowers bloom well into late June.
Jun 29, 2017 near Ashland, OR

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