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Wagner Butte Trail #1011

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.8 (9)

A popular hike to great views of the Rogue Valley and beyond from an old lookout site.


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Map Key

5.0

Miles

8.0

KM

Point to Point

7,122' 2,171 m

High

4,977' 1,517 m

Low

2,186' 666 m

Up

41' 12 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers

The trailhead is usually accessible all year, but the trail climbs to 7,000 feet and its upper parts may be snow-covered from November to April. Water along the trail from intermittent creeks and Cold Springs is not tested and may be unsafe to drink unless filtered or treated. There are no amenities (toilets) or potable water at the trailhead.

Description

This is one of the classic hikes near the Rogue Valley. From the old lookout site at the end of the trail, you'll have panoramic views of the Rogue and Little Applegate Valleys and surrounding mountain peaks, including Mount McLoughlin and Mount Shasta. Wildflowers fill the meadows along the trail from mid-spring to early summer.

At present, there is no obvious sign at the trailhead, so look for a large, pothole-filled parking lot off Forest Road 22. The trail starts across the road from the parking lot, climbs through an old timber sale, then follows an abandoned roadbed for 1.2 miles to the edge of a massive landslide that occurred in 1983. After crossing the now vegetation-covered slide, the trail rises slowly through old-growth stands of Douglas, noble, and white fir into an open area filled with sagebrush. It then climbs a few switchbacks to Wagner Glade Gap, 2 miles from the slide. There is a four-way trail junction at Wagner Glade Gap. Ahead (east) is the Wagner Glade Trail, to the right (south) is the Split Rock Trail, and to the left (north) is the continuation of the Wagner Butte Trail.

Turn left (north) and follow the trail as it gradually ascends the western flank of Wagner Butte for 2 miles until it ends at the base of the rock pile on which stood the now long gone lookout. A short, easy scramble up the rocks will take you to the remains of the lookout—just its guard rail and foundation blocks. Note that the old lookout site is not the actual summit of Wagner Butte, just the best place for a big view. On a clear day, you can see 80 miles or more in every direction.

Contacts

Shared By:

Bruce Hope

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 9 votes

#1

in Ashland

#366

Overall
  4.8 from 9 votes
5 Star
78%
4 Star
22%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1

in Ashland

#9

in Oregon

#366

Overall
143 Views Last Month
3,267 Since Oct 29, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
33%
33%
33%
0%

Photos

Summer views from the old lookout site on Wagner Butte
Oct 29, 2017 near Ashland, OR
The last expanse of sage brush before reaching the summit block
Oct 29, 2017 near Ashland, OR
Winter at the old lookout site atop Wagner Butte
Oct 29, 2017 near Ashland, OR
The short scramble up to the old lookout site
Oct 29, 2017 near Ashland, OR
A big meadow along the Wagner Butte Trail
Oct 29, 2017 near Talent, OR
Where the trail crosses the 1983 landslide.
Oct 29, 2017 near Talent, OR

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 41 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Aug 4, 2020
Vanessa Manzano
summit next time! 4.5mi
Jun 23, 2020
Nikki Pond
10.5mi — 4h 30m
Aug 5, 2019
Samuel B
Tall grasses and vegetation in a few spots. Cows enjoying free range living on the rock slide. 10mi
Jul 21, 2019
Pinky Bandit
Hiked to Wagner glade gap then took split rock trail to Mt. Ashland.
Jul 1, 2019
Donald Olson
Quite a few streamlets. Several downed trees. (Some clearly intentional to keep off road vehicles at bay.) Trail condition generally good.
Jun 1, 2019
Brandon Kester
bring more water than you think you need. the air gets pretty thin up there. 10mi — 4h 20m
May 14, 2018
Bruce Hope
Trail open & in good condition. No snow.
May 12, 2018
Lisa Casad