Description - The Ashland Ranger District is located in two distinctly different mountain ranges. The western portion is part of the Siskiyou Mountains and the eastern portion is located within the Southern Cascade Range. The District's 98,695 acres offer a geologic and vegetative diversity that is unique among National Forests.
Fish Lake is regularly stocked with Rainbow and Eastern Brook Trout. It has been an excellent producer, particularly early in the season. Licenses and fishing gear may be purchased at the Fish Lake Resort which is open for fishing year-round.
Several small streams also may be fished with varying degrees of success. The North Fork of Little Butte Creek has a trail on the north side of the creek from Big Elk Road 37 to the Fish Lake dam. This section is stocked periodically. The South Fork of Little Butte, Beaver Dam and Daley creeks also are streams in which small trout may be found. These are all located on the Cascade side of the District. There is no fishing worthy of note on the Siskiyou side, with the possible exception of the upper Little Applegate River.
For huckleberry picking, contact the Ashland Ranger District for information on peak harvest time and availability. Berries most often ripen during early to mid-September. The Robinson Butte area is one of the more popular berry picking locations. Look for huckleberries on south-southeast slopes in fairly open areas.
Permits for cutting Christmas trees are issued from the Ashland Ranger District and the Supervisor's Office, located in the main Post Office, Medford.
If moist conditions occur, Morel Mushrooms may be found at various elevations throughout the District during May and June. Do not expect persons to divulge secret places! In the fall, "shaggy manes" may be found in the Siskiyou, especially along roads.
It is encouraged to use the Bureau of Land Management Table Mountain Snow play area near Hyatt Lake, or the Union Creek area beyond Prospect; there are no slopes on the District for snow play. Tobogganing, tubing or saucering in the Mt. Ashland area is not safe as serious accidents have happened here. The slopes are steep, rocky, timbered,and have no safe run-out areas.
Ski Ashland is an increasingly popular alpine ski resort located near the summit of Mt. Ashland on a State-plowed, paved access road. Lifts: 2 double chairs, 3 surface lifts. Runs: 22; vertical drop 1,150 feet; 10% beginner, 25% inter- mediate and 65% advanced. Season: Normally December through April with daily operation. There is a ski school and rental shop but no nursery or child care. General information (541) 482-2897; snow conditions (541) 482-2754.
Nordic ski trails may be found in the area of Rye Spring Road 900 which is across Highway 140 from Fish Lake. From the small cove south of the resort a spur trail goes east to join the Pacific Crest Trail.
In the Mt. Ashland area, the Bull Gap Trail, located off the Ski Ashland access road, furnishes both unplowed road skiing and a loop trail about three miles in length. There is a parking area at the trailhead. It is one mile east of Mt. Ashland Ski Area.
Very good Nordic skiing may also be found on the south side of Mt. Ashland on Road 20 past the picnic area. Specific map for snowmobile and ski trips may be obtained at the Supervisor's or District offices.
Sno-Park permits are required in all designated winter recreation parking locations throughout Oregon; two such sites are Mt. Ashland and Fish Lake on the Ashland Ranger District. Money from the sale of these permits is used by the State Highway Division to plow these locations. Sno-Park permits are purchased on either daily or annual basis. These may be purchased at Oregon Motor Vehicle Division offices, Mt. Ashland Ski Resort, and sporting goods stores in Ashland and Medford. This is in effect between November 15 and April 30. Parking without a permit may result in a fine from the State Police. If you have a snowmobile with a current Oregon license, you are entitled to a free permit.
- This Ranger District features both the Siskiyou Mountains as well as the Southern Cascade Range. There is ample fishing in Fish Lake in addition to numerous trails and campgrounds offering opportunities for hiking, camping, mountain biking and backpacking. Finally, the district features excellent huckleberry picking during early to mid-September.
Recreation - Activities include hiking, camping, backpacking, fishing, swimming, mountain biking, horseback riding and huckleberry picking.
Climate - Climate on the Rogue River National Forest changes with elevation. Much of the precipitation comes from October to April in the form of rain at the low elevations and as snow in the higher elevations where very cold temperatures are possible. Although snow is possible in the lowest elevations, it is infrequent. Late spring, summer and early autumn tend to bring clear, sunny days with moderate temperatures.
The Ashland Ranger District is located in the southwestern portion of the Rogue River National Forest and may be accessed via County Roads 1151and 821, Primary Forest Route 22, Highway 140 and the Dead Indian Highway.