The Soda Mountain Wilderness is located in the state of Oregon next to the California border. The protected area lies within Cascade-Siskiyou Monument.There are 5 named mountains in Soda Mountain Wilderness. The highest and the most prominent mountain is Soda Mountain. Another mountain in the wilderness is Boccard Point. Like the surrounding Cascade-Siskiyou Monument, the Soda Mountain Wilderness is known for its ecological diversity. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through the wilderness before it arrives just north in the town of Ashland. The Soda Mountain Wilderness is characterized by its fir forests, oak groves, wildflower meadows and steep canyons, a combination unique to the area. The protected land is abundant with wildlife. Roosevelt elk, black bears, cougars, bald eagles, hawks and falcons call this unique landscape home. Despite only encompassing a small portion of the entire Cascade-Siskiyou Monument, the Soda Mountain Wilderness is an incredibly diverse and popular hiking destination.
As the tallest peak in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, Soda Mountain offers incredible views of the surrounding wilderness. The hike will take you along the Pacific Crest Trail before climbing to peak. The out and back route totals 3.8 miles with 900 feet of elevation gain. The mountain offers multiple variations of the hike to increase the distance if wanted. The fire lookout at the top allows hikers to view Mount McCoughlin to the north while Mount Shasta
Pilot Rock is one of the most popular hikes in the Soda Mountain Wilderness. The 2.8-mile trail has 810 feet of elevation finished off with a scramble to the top of the peak. From the top, hikers have unobstructed views of the surrounding valleys, peaks, and mountains in the distance. The Cascade Range stretches north to south for as far as the eye can see. To the south sits nearby Mount Shasta, just across the Oregon California state border. Despite being near the towns of Ashland and Medford, the views from the top make you feel as if you are in the remote depths of southern Oregon.
Ashland, Oregon is a city located in Southern Oregon with a population of around 21,000. The small city is known for being home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The town is known for being very liberal, a sharp contrast to much of southern Oregon. Many of the city’s historical buildings have been preserved which give the downtown a quaint setting. Ashland is the perfect place to stay after a long hike in the mountains and is ideal for grabbing a bite to eat or check out a local gallery. The nearby city of Medford also has ample housing with close proximity to the surrounding mountain trails.
Just two hours south of the Soda Mountain Wilderness sits Redding, California. The city sits along the Sacramento River and is just 15 miles south of Shasta Lake. The city’s population is just over 90,000 and is at the very northwestern end of the Central Valley. Redding is surrounded by mountains to the north, east and west. The Market Center located downtown is the perfect place to explore the city and grab a bite to eat after a long day of hiking.
Known as “Track Town, USA”, Eugene is a runner’s paradise. With a population of nearly 200,000, the city is the largest within central Oregon. The city is located two hours south of Portland, and just one hour south of Salem, Oregon’s state capitol. The town is known for its focus on environmentalism and abundance of recreation activities including biking, hiking, rafting, and of course, running. Eugene is also where the Nike corporation began. Be sure to check out the Lane County Farmers’ Market or grab a bite to eat at one of the many local restaurants.