Crater Lake and Scenic Oregon Coast Tour – Day 5
Downtown Ashland, Lithia Park, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Cascade-Siskiyou Scenic Bikeway
An optional rest day awaits us on day five of our Crater Lake and Scenic Oregon Coast Bicycle Tour.* Relaxing and taking in the sites, shops, spas, galleries, restaurants, or a matinee play in Ashland may be more enticing than a ride today for some. For those looking for something more active, consider hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, white water rafting the Rogue River, or renting a mountain bike for a downhill adrenaline rush from Mt. Ashland back to town.
For those inclined to get back on the road bike today, we have a truly spectacular route. The Cascades-Siskiyou Scenic Bikeway begins and ends in Ashland. We start with a gradual climb to the tranquil Emigrant Lake with wide open vistas of the Cascade and Siskiyou mountains we are about to climb. Our ascent begins in the oak and grass covered foothills and follows a twisting route up to a coniferous forest high above us. Just after our first summit, we reach the Green Springs Inn, a perfect spot to grab a snack or lunch before we continue our next climb on a single lane county road to the picturesque Hyatt Lake with the volcanic peak of Mt. McLaughlin providing a postcard-worthy backdrop. A quick few miles later, including a short, screaming downhill, we emerge onto Howard Prairie with its own, larger high mountain lake and fields of wild flowers. We have one final climb followed by a long, magnificent downhill with vistas of the Rogue Valley, Pilot Rock, Mount Ashland, and the Siskiyou Mountains in the background.
Back in Ashland, you may consider an afternoon nap. Tonight, after a rewarding dinner, we enjoy a play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
* Today’s breakfast, dinner, and an evening Oregon Shakespeare Festival Play are covered by the Via Bike Tours fee. All other costs, including lunch, are at your own expense.