Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Soda Mountain Snowshoeing

The weathermen were predicting a storm to hit the Rogue Valley by Friday night. Saturday dawned a beautiful, mostly sunny day so we packed up our snow gear and the doggie and headed for some snow!

Soda Mtn is one of my favorite hikes. Depending on where you start it can be 4mi or 13mi round trip. I think our ended up being around 8 miles. In the summer you drive up to the trailhead located on Soda Mountain Road off Hwy 66, and take the PCT South a mile then cut over to a forest service road that takes you to the fire lookout. Andrew and I only made it a couple miles up Soda Mtn Road before plowed snow blocked our path.

Shep loved the snow at first but after a few miles of postholing she looked disgruntled.

There was so much snow. And it was all uphill (or upmountain) one way.

After a few hours we finally made it to the lookout. You can see the radio equipment behind shep. The lookout tower has an AMAZING 360 degree view of the Rogue Valley, Nothern Cal, Mt Shasta, the Marble Mountains, Mt McLoughlin, and even part of Klamath Lake. On a clear day you can see the Coastal Range and even the high schools and RVMC in Medford. It's pretty incredible.

View of Pilot Rock from Soda Mtn.

Looking towards the Rogue Valley.

We ate some snow to keep hydrated since we left the water in the car. Whoops :)

There were so many beautiful views!

We had fun blazing our own trails and Sheppie learned to walk in our tracks. It was a beautiful day!

We also found fresh paw prints that weren't Shep's. I think we found OR7, thankfully we didn't see him though. Shep acted weird, sniffing the air and marking every 100 feet, I think she could smell him. Thats her little muddy print with his big print. There hadn't been any humans up there for days, there were barely traces of snowshoe tracks, so we knew it wasn't a big doggie. Defiantly wolf.

Somehow we made it back to the car minutes before it started raining! We were definitely blessed with sunshine and warmish (not freezing!) weather.