Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
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A short 17 mile drive from Ashland will reward visitors with the quiet beauty of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Enjoy a hike through cool fir forests, sunlit oak groves, and warm wildflower strewn meadows overlooking the valleys of southern Oregon and northern California.
Biodiversity: The Monument is at the geologic crossroads where the Klamath, Siskiyou, and Cascade Mountains meet the edge of the Great Basin. With biodiversity that is unmatched in the Cascade Range, conservationists have called the Monument area the “Galapagos of North America”. The Monument’s unique setting and diverse mixing of habitats supports one of the highest diversities of butterfly species in the United States.
Recreation: Paved and unpaved roads provide access to the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail which traverses some 19 miles through the Monument offering stunning views of the region’s varied landscape. For the more rugged adventurer there is the Soda Mountain Wilderness area, with a hike to Oregon’s iconic Pilot Rock. Standing as a welcoming beacon to travelers along I-5, Pilot Rock is a prominent volcanic plug that is a remnant of the Cascade Range’s violent volcanic past. Some unpaved roads may not be suitable for passenger cars; verify road conditions with the BLM.
The Monument is open all year. From Interstate 5 the Monument may be accessed via highway 66 or highway 99. Several inns and cabin rentals are located off of historic Highway 66. Visitors can also reserve a campsite at BLM’s Hyatt Lake Campground through Recreation.gov. The world renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival as well as many dining and lodging opportunities are just down the hill in Ashland. An afternoon hike to Hobart Bluff or overnight stay, your visit can be added to any trip itinerary. Spend your day outdoors away from crowds and head into town at night.
Climate: Monument elevations range from approximately 1500 ft. to 6000 ft. Summer months can be warm and dry with cooler night time temperatures . Lower south facing exposures can be particularly warm. Bring water, snacks and sun protection if hiking during the summer months. From October to May snow can blanket much of the Monument’s higher elevations, limiting access to popular hiking trails. Weather can vary greatly across the Monument, due to the diversity of aspect and elevation of the terrain.
Contact Info: A staffed information center is located 35 miles away at the BLM District offices in Medford. The Monument is part of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Conservation Lands, preserving some of America’s most spectacular landscapes. The BLM is a partner with the Friends of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. Thank you for helping take care of this biologically rich landscape.