41. Dutch Oven Creek (Pilot Rock Unit)
Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. p. 179.
What to Expect: A very rugged cross-county backpack
Distance: 8.3-mile loop
Elevation Range: 3,200-5,400 feet
Drinking Water: Yes
Best Times: Summer (wildflowers peak in June and July)
USGS 7.5' Map: Soda Mountain
Oregon Map Starting Point: Ashland
At the Pacific Crest Trail trailhead (earlier), continue driving southeasterly 2.4 miles (cross under powerlines three more times) to a ridge-top intersection near a horse corral. Park. Get an early start to make a nice camp. Walk 1.2 miles south-westerly on an ex-unimproved road that turns into an ex-four-wheel-drive track across the south slope of Soda Mountain. Follow the ridge south 0.5 mile to Boccard Point (see earlier).
Drop west down into Dutch Oven Creek and follow it to the confluence of Dutch Oven Creek and Camp Creek (this will take the rest of the day, though it is just 2.5 miles). Camp at the confluence with Camp Creek.
The next day explore the cliffs 1 mile down Camp Creek from its confluence with Dutch Oven Creek.
To return, start early. Go north up Camp Creek to the confluence with the unmapped East Fork Camp Creek (0.2 mile from the confluence of Camp Creek with Dutch Oven Creek). Bushwhack your way 2 miles up the East Fork to catch the end of an ex-unimproved road. Follow this route 2.1 miles back to your vehicle.
Have a beer.