Little Hyatt Lake - May 21, 2016
Coordinator Richard O'Neill, narration and pictures by Richard O'Neill

Five hikers made the drive to Greensprings Summit, east of Ashland to sample some of Oregon’s Pacific Crest Trail miles. The weather alternated between rain and sun, switching from one to the other about every 15 minutes. I gave up trying to remain properly attired and settled for hiking in rain gear which meant half the time I was happy and dry and the other half I was baking in the hot sun like an enchilada in a microwave.

The PCT initially passed through a series of green meadows that were abloom with cat’s ear, avalanche lilies, red currant, calypso orchids, Oregon grape, ballhead waterleaf, and trilliums, just to name a few. As the PCT crossed gravel Hyatt Lake Road several times, it finally rounded the western slopes of Greensprings Mountain and the cool stuff started.

The slopes of Greenspring Mountain were bald and grassy, providing spectacular views of Bear Creek Valley containing the towns of Ashland, Talent, and Phoenix. Soda Mountain, Pilot Rock, and Mount Ashland were all hidden by clouds but that’s OK because the view was still spectacular, if not complete.

Just over 5 miles, we arrived at Little Hyatt Lake where we sat down for lunch in the warm sun. Five minutes later, we all put on jackets as a cold storm blew in, cutting our lunch short. On the return to Greensprings Mountain, the views were still spectacular, but in a dark gloomy sort of way. Gone were the expansive views, replaced by an awesome wall of black cloud. It pretty much rained the rest of the way back but on the plus side, I’d remain properly dressed for the rest of the hike!

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