|Location:||A few miles north of Central Point, Jackson County, Oregon, these landmarks are clearly visible from I-5.|
|High Point:||2,000 feet|
A quick drive from Medford and a short, easy hike brings the reward of stunning, birds-eye views across the Rogue Valley in three directions from the plateau of Upper Table Rock. On a clear day, the view extends past Medford to the Siskiyou Mountains in the south, Mount McLoughlin's apparently symmetrical cone above foothills in the east, and even the Rim of Crater Lake far to the northeast.
To reach Upper Table Rock from I-5 North out of Medford: Take the Central Point Exit (Exit 33) east about 1 mile to Table Rock Road. Turn north (left) onto Table Rock Road. Proceed 7.6 miles, passing Tou Velle State Park. Turn east (right) and continue approximately 1 mile to the signed parking lot which you will see on your left. The trail to the top of Upper Table Rock begins there. There are some basic campground-style toilets at the trailhead.
It really isn't a terribly difficult hike, except in wet weather the dirt can be slick. During Spring, you will find a luxurious mat of wildflowers covering the plateau. The heat of Summer dries everything up, resulting in knee-high dry grass, burrs galore, and a plentiful sprinkling of ticks. Just keep those socks pulled up over your pants legs to keep the beasties off.
Even in dead of Winter, this hike is usually doable. The top of Table Rock is just around 2000 feet elevation, and the trailhead is about 1300. Note: these are crude approximations, because I'm rushing at the moment. Check out the Nature Conservancy link, above, for better details.
Once on top, make your way immediately to the precipice and walk around the south end of the plateau. Don't forget to bring the camera, your lunch, and a FULL water bottle.
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