Ashland Daily Photo
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Wagner Butte Hike week

rogue valley hiking trails

Wagner Butte Trail sign

Sunday I hiked the Wagner Butte Trail for the fourth time. This was only the second time I made it to the top. My first two attempts were with my kids when they were little so we only went for a mile or two. The entire hike is over 10 miles and includes climbing (and then descending) over 2,200 feet.

I brought along my new lens (Tamron SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DI II Lens) so I have far more than a week’s worth of photography for you. I’ll post several images a day and save some for later. For today, I’ll just explain how to get there (and post some rather uninteresting images that may help in orientation) as most guide books and internet sites give incomplete and/or erroneous directions.

wagner butte trail parking

Wagner Butte Trail parking lot (about 12 miles south of Talent)

Wagner Butte Trail begins southwest of Ashland. However, to get there, you need to go through Talent (to the northwest of Ashland). You can also get there from the top of Mt. Ashland, but most people are coming from other places in the Rogue Valley, making the Talent route easier.

From Highway 99 (Pacific Highway) turn onto Rapp Road which will eventually turn into Wagner Creek Road. Follow Wagner Creek Road all the way out. When Wagner Creek Road turns into a dirt road, at a point crossing the creek, check your odometer. You will find the trail head 6.1 miles from this point. Continue on Wagner Creek Rd. It forks several times. Stay on the most developed road (usually a left at the forks). At mile 4 since you started on the dirt road you will find a cattle guard. Cross it and go left at the fork immediately in front of you. Only two more miles until the trail begins. At 6.1 miles you will see the sign in the first photo if you are traveling slowly enough and look to your left. Pull into the parking lot on your right, pictured above.

southern oregon hiking

Beginning of Wagner Butte Trail

The most difficult part of Wagner Butte Trail is the first (and last) mile as it is fairly steep.

Bring lots of water. I brought 40 oz., and it wasn’t nearly enough. I could have used 80 ounces, but it was a warm/hot day. If the weather forecast in Ashland/Medford is for 80 degrees or more, bring at least 2 liters of water per person. Note that it won’t be as hot as Ashland or Medford at this altitude, but it will feel warmer than Ashland or Medford on the way up since you will be climbing. Bring a jacket for the way down if the forecast is for 70 degrees or less in Ashland/Medford.

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