Hike Difficulty: moderate
Trail Length: 4 mi RT
Elevation Gain: 1100 ft
My Rating (out of 5): 4.0 – My original plan for the day was to go to Crater Lake and see it covered in snow, but I got a late start and decided to go somewhere closer. I have been wanting to go to Grayback Mountain for a while, so I figured that this was the best opportunity.
I got to Grayback through the O’Brien Creek trailheads. To get here, I took Thompson Creek Road just outside of the town of Applegate and followed it for about 12 miles. Then, at a fork in the road, I took 1005 the rest of the way. You have the option of the lower or upper trailhead. My car only could make it a little bit past the lower trailhead, so only attempt for the upper one if you have a vehicle with lots of clearance and good tires. The lower trail adds an extra mile onto the hike (or two, thinking about it round-trip).
It’s about 4 miles to hike to the meadows, which pass a cool little snow survey cabin. I wouldn’t sleep there, unless in a pinch — there were a few mice running around and I don’t wanna sleep with mice. I want to come back in the spring to see all the wildflowers in the meadow.
I also want to come back to find my way to the summit of Grayback. It’s a little bit trickier, from what I’ve read, and I didn’t have enough daylight to find it this time.