Grassy Glade

This fairly low-elevation site is much more interesting than it might appear at first glance and has many unusual species found more commonly to the south. Grassy Glade itself is a large sloping meadow with an assortment of pretty annuals that provide color in the spring. To the west, patches of meadow intermix with the forest. Here you will find the stunning purple milkweed (Asclepias cordifolia), a butterfly magnet near the north end of its range. Many of the most interesting spots in the area are hidden from view, requiring a little steep bushwhacking (and a GPS!). Several small rocky openings and a large pillar rock can be found downhill through the forest to the south, and a large rocky opening (what I call “Rabbitbrush Ridge”) is just a short way to the west from the end of the dead-end road. Most have more populations of purple milkweed as well as other nectar and host plants for butterflies.


Trail: No trails, but it is worth walking the whole 1 mile down Road 262 to the dead end (3100–3560′, including “Rabbitbrush Ridge” and other rocky openings)

Location: eastern Lane County; Willamette National Forest, Middle Fork Ranger District
USGS Map: Rigdon Point; T24S.R4E.S19, 20
Habitats: meadow, rock, forest, roadside
Bloom: April to July


Take Highway 58 2 miles past Oakridge to Kitson Springs County Road. After 0.5 mile turn right onto Rd 21. Follow Rd 21 for 21.3 miles around the reservoir to a bridge on your right to Rd 2133 and 2134. Cross the bridge and take the left Staley Ridge Road 2134. Continue for 3.9 paved miles. Turn left onto Road 2136, crossing a bridge over Staley Creek. Be sure to stop here on your way back to admire the falls where the creek narrows into a gorge just below the bridge, cool yourself off in the creek, and check out the many wild flowers in the area. After 0.3 mile, turn left onto Road 2137. Continue for 0.6 mile. Veer right and continue on 2137 for 0.8 mile. Turn left onto Road 325 (watch for a slump near the beginning and several potholes) and continue for 0.7 mile to a T and turn left on 262. The main meadow is downhill on the left in just 0.15 mile. To get to “Rabbitbrush Ridge,” follow Road 262 until it dead ends just under a mile from the intersection of Road 325, and follow the ridge down to the left for 0.25 mile.

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