Hershberger Mountain is a fantastic place for some easy botanizing if you don’t have time for a real hike. It’s also a good jumping off point for a longer trip along the Rogue-Umpqua Divide trail. The views are fantastic, as you’d expect from a lookout site. The flowers are equally special with rare plants including the gorgeous endemic Mazama collomia with its deep blue flowers, which grows in profusion along the road and in the woods. In addition to an amazing natural rock garden at the top, there are rich meadows and wetlands on the way up. You can drive to the top (with a good clearance vehicle), but if you want to see all the plants, you might just want to walk up to the lookout. From the primitive campground, it is possible to find traces of an old trail straight up the ridge to the top. This is the best way to see all the rock plants. On your way home, be sure to save time for a stop at the extraordinary twin pinnacles called Rabbit Ears.
No real trail: From the beginning of Rd 530 to summit is an easy 1.25 mile bushwhack up the ridge (5400–6230′)
Location: Douglas County; Umpqua National Forest, Prospect Ranger District
USGS Map: Fish Mountain; T29S.R3E.S22,27
Habitats: forest, meadow, wet meadow, rock and cliff
Bloom: June to August
From Medford or south, take Crater Lake Highway 62 to the town of Union Creek. After another 1.3 miles, stay to the left on Hwy 230 as Hwy 62 turns to the right toward Crater Lake. Drive 0.9 mile north on Hwy 230, take the first left turn (west) on Road 6510. Follow this for 1.6 miles then at a sign for “Hershberger 10” turn right onto 6520 and continue for 0.5 mile. Now turn left onto Rd. 6515. Continue for 5.6 miles to a parking area for Rabbit Ears. From there it is 1 more mile on Rd. 6515 before a right turn onto Rd. 530, Hershberger Mountain Rd. The first 0.6 mile is usually in good shape up to a primitive campground. From there, the road gets rougher as it heads up a mile to a hairpin turn where you can pick up the Rogue-Umpqua Divide trail and then continues 0.5 mile till it dead ends at the Hershberger Mountain Lookout parking area.
From the north and east, drive south on Hwy 97, west on Hwy 138. Turn right onto Hwy 230 after Diamond Lake and continue south for about 23 miles. Turn right (west) onto Rd. 6510 and continue as above.
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