01 – Lower Table Rock Trail

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After viewing what felt like a dozen homes in as many neighborhoods in the Medford area – and finding the perfect house, we made a point to save an afternoon for a local hike before making the trip back to Washington. Already looking forward to our move to Oregon, we were super excited as we set off on our first Southern Oregon hike. Here we are, ready to hit the trail.

Our first Southern Oregon hike

Our first Southern Oregon hike

We had read about the Upper and Lower Table Rocks hikes on the Oregon.com and the Bureau of Land Management websites so opted for the Lower Table Rock Trail as it promised to be the longer of the two hikes. Chatting with a friendly local hiker as we entered the trail, he shared with us that when we reached the top, rather than follow the main trail, more like a dirt road (really an abandoned air strip) that ran across the center of the plateau, if we turned off onto a small trail to the left (that looked as if it would lead us into the brush), we would be able to follow the edge of the plateau for the majority of our hike and have a much better view of the Rogue Valley below. Plus, he said, early spring wildflowers were already in bloom along that sunny exposure.

We found that side trail just after the raised walkway protecting the fragile environment of the Spring vernal pools once we reached the top, and headed off to the brush.

Raised walkways protect fragile vernal pool environment

Raised walkways protect fragile vernal pool environment

As we were warned, the wildflowers were in abundance.

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In no time, that little side trail led us to the edge of the plateau, and to a wonderful view of the beautiful Rogue Valley below.

Checking out the view

Checking out the view

That trail meandered along the edge until it reached the other end of the plateau and met up with the main trail, the abandoned runway, so we followed took that route back to where we had began. The old runway trail offered us a much different perspective of Lower Table Rock than the perimeter trail had offered. High up and on the middle of the plateau, we could barely see just the tops of the distant mountains, and we were unable to see the Rogue Valley below. We were glad we had been told about the perimeter trail when we began our hike because we felt the dramatic views from the edge of the plateau really made the hike stunning.

Hiking along the plateau . . .

Hiking along the plateau . . .

Soon enough we were on the trail through the forest and heading back down to the trailhead at the base of Lower Table Rock.

Through the forest

Through the forest

Additional photos from this hike –

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We’ve loaded the book, 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon by William L. Sullivan onto our Kindles, and soon enough our boxes will be packed and the moving van will be heading south. There are definitely more trails to be explored. Stay tuned, because, Oregon trails, here we come!