Directions

Directions to Sterling Mine Ditch Trailheads

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The Sterling Mine Ditch Trail (SMDT) follows approximately 20 miles of a 26-mile ditch that was built in 1877. The SMDT was used to transport water from the Little Applegate River to the Sterling Mine located near the current junction of Sterling Creek Road and Griffin Lane. The trail follows the berm of the ditch and is mostly level where it follows the ditch. There are 7 SMDT trailheads, three of the trailheads are located on Little Applegate Road, and the others are located on BLM Roads that are accessed from Sterling Creek Road or Anderson Butte Road. All of the SMDT access trails except for the Deming Trailhead require hiking/riding up or downhill for ½ to 1 mile before reaching the ditch. There are many historic features along the trail, including a tunnel, rock walls, headgate and flume remnants, and drilling scars, so be sure to watch for these features as you hike or ride. Do not disturb any historic feature.

FROM ROGUE VALLEY/DOWNTOWN JACKSONVILLE

  1. Turn left on South Oregon Street from E California Street (the main street through town), follow uphill, becomes Applegate Street and again changes names to become Cady Road. Follow road to the top of the hill – about 1 mile (Sterling Mine Ditch Trail sign on your right on Cady Rd).
  2. Turn left onto Sterling Creek Road, go almost 9 miles.

For Armstrong Gulch, Deming Gulch, and Wolf Gap Trailheads (TH):

  1. Turn left onto the BLM Armstrong-Deming Road (BLM Road 39-2-8) (The Armstrong-Deming Road is between the 8 & 9 mile markers on Sterling Creek Road, a small Sterling Mine Ditch Trail sign is opposite the turn). Drive about 200 yards to “T” – a sign provides distance and direction to trailheads and the Deming equestrian parking area.
  2. Armstrong Gulch Trailhead – Right at “T”, about 1/2 mile to Armstrong trailhead marked with sign and kiosk. South SMDT access trail begins to the right, north access trail begins a few yards uphill across the road. Equestrians: Parking/turn-around at Armstrong Gulch but parking at the Deming Gulch Equestrian parking area is larger.
  3. Deming Gulch TH – left at “T”, drive 7/10s of a mile up a gravel road to the Deming TH. Parking along the road for cars above the Deming TH. Horse trailers: Large parking area 3/10s of a mile above Deming Gulch TH. The road drops down to left and below Armstrong-Deming Rd – Sign marks Equestrian Parking. Ride out between boulders blocking vehicle access to the road that continues downhill. Look for watch for trail signs for the SMDT heading both north and south about 3/10 mile down the road.
  4. Wolf Gap TH – drive past the Deming Gulch TH and continue up the Deming-Armstrong Rd approximately 2 miles. A large open parking area (Wolf Gap) will be on your right. The trail leaves from the left side of parking area by Wolf Gap Trailhead Sign and kiosk.
  5. Do you want to say trail users can go north towards Deming or south towards Wolf Gap or ?

For Little Applegate Road Trailheads (Bear Gulch, Tunnel Ridge, Little Applegate):

  1. Continue on Sterling Creek Road to the “T” with Little Applegate Rd at Buncom – about 2 miles past Armstrong-Deming Road.
  2. Turn left onto Little Applegate Road – Note: at 3.2 miles the pavement ends – continue straight on the unpaved road.
  3. The mileage to the three trailheads from the intersection of Sterling Creek Road and Little Applegate Road is:
    1. Bear Gulch TH – 5.9 miles
    2. Tunnel Ridge TH – 6.5 miles
    3. Little Applegate TH – 8.2 miles
  4. All Little Applegate trailheads are on the left side of the road and have parking. Horse trailer parking is available at all three Little Applegate trailheads but Tunnel Ridge TH is largest parking area. Water for horses from the Little Applegate River is accessible at Tunnel Ridge TH.

FROM RUCH/ APPLEGATE (driving on 238 towards Jacksonville):

  1. Turn right on Upper Applegate Road; drive approximately 3 miles, turn left onto Little Applegate Road
  2. Drive about 3 miles on Little Applegate Road to intersection with Sterling Creek Road on your left (at Buncom)

For the Armstrong Gulch, Deming Gulch, and Wolf Gap Trailheads:

  1. Turn left onto Sterling Creek Road. Drive about 2 miles, turn right on Armstrong-Deming Road – follow directions above for Armstrong, Deming, and Wolf Gap THs (#2-4 above).

For the three Little Applegate trailheads:

  1. Continue on Little Applegate Road – follow directions for Little Applegate Road THs above (#6-8)

FROM ASHLAND, TALENT, PHOENIX OR MEDFORD:

  1. Take South Stage Rd from Route 99 to the intersection with Griffin Creek Road (Chevron station on your right).
  2. Turn left onto Griffin Creek Rd; drive about 1.5 miles; turn right onto West Griffin Creek/ Poorman Creek Rd.
  3. Take West Griffin Creek/Poorman Creek Rd. to “T” (approx. 4 miles) with Sterling Creek Rd – turn left.
  4. Drive south on Sterling Creek Rd about 7 miles. Follow Jacksonville directions above (#1-8) to six trailheads.

Note: All trailheads are well marked with trailhead signs and have information kiosks.

The Deming equestrian trailhead can accommodate about 4 to 6 horse trailer rigs. Please park efficiently so others can come in and park, and leave where you parked clean, including road apples. Thank you!

Directions to the Jack-Ash Trailheads

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The Jack-Ash Trail (Phase 1) connects to both ends of the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail creating a giant loop. If you are interested in a long-distance ride or hike, you have the option of starting at any of the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail Trailheads or the Jack-Ash Trailheads and doing a giant 45+ mile loop.

The Jack-Ash Trail can also be experienced as shorter out-and-backs or loops created by combining existing BLM dirt roads. To reach the Jack-Ash Trailheads from either the Rogue Valley or Applegate Valley – follow appropriate directions below to reach the four trailheads for Phase 1 of the Jack-Ash Trail starting from the lowest elevation on Griffin Lane

Griffin Lane Jack-Ash Trail Access from Rogue Valley/Jacksonville via Sterling Creek Road:

  1. In downtown Jacksonville, turn left on S. Oregon Street from E. California St., follow uphill, becomes Applegate Street and again changes names to become Cady Road. Follow road to the top of the hill – about 1 mile (Sterling Mine Ditch Trail sign on your right on Cady Rd).
  2. Turn left onto Sterling Creek Road, go approximately 7 miles.
  3. At the 90° turn on Sterling Creek Road, go LEFT on unpaved Griffin Lane.
  4. Look for #7595 on the right. This is the 3rd driveway, approximately ½ mile from Sterling Creek Road. There is room for parking 2 or 3 vehicles along Griffin Lane, prior to the driveway turn-off for the trail. Do not park in the driveway or block access in any way.

Griffin Lane Jack-Ash Trail Access from Ashland, Talent, Phoenix or Medford via Griffin Lane:

  1. Take South Stage Rd from Route 99 to the intersection with Griffin Creek Road (Chevron station on your right).
  2. Turn left onto Griffin Creek Road going past the Griffin Creek School. Drive about 2 miles on Griffin Creek Road to where it turns into Griffin Lane (Griffin Creek Road makes a 90-degree left turn but keep straight on Griffin Lane). Griffin Lane turns into a gravel road.
  3. Follow Griffin Lane approximately 4.5 miles, look for address #7595 on the left. There is limited parking is on the left side of the road past the driveway. Do not park in the driveway or block access in any way. NOTE: there are steep switchbacks on Griffin Lane that are not recommended for horse trailers.

The first segment of this trail segment is across private property and does not have an official trailhead sign except for a carsonite post with the Jack-Ash logo just off of Griffin Lane. Please respect private property and stay on the trail corridor.

The trail follows the driveway and starts from a shared apron with an adjacent private parcel. Take the gravel driveway on the right that drops steeply downhill (not towards the pond/house). Follow the driveway downhill about 150 feet, past an old grass-covered road on your right and turn right onto trail below steep bank. If you come to a flat house pad you have missed the trail turnoff.

FROM THE ROGUE VALLEY AREA (Ashland, Talent, Phoenix, Medford) TO JACK-ASH TRAILHEADS:

Grub Gulch Trailhead and Hidden Creek Trail via Griffin Creek Road/Anderson Butte Road: This is a shared trailhead for the SMDT, Jack-Ash Trail, and Hidden Creek Trail. Parking is available along BLM road 38-2-26 across from the gate.

  1. From Highway 99 north of Phoenix, take South Stage Road to Griffin Creek Road. Turn left onto Griffin Creek Road (Chevron Station on your right) going past the Griffin Creek School. Drive about 2 miles on Griffin Creek Road – it will make a 90-degree left turn at its junction with Griffin Lane.
  2. Keep left and continue on Griffin Creek Road about another 1.5 miles until you see Griffin Creek Road turn left again off the main paved road. Stay on paved road which is now called Anderson Butte Road – heading uphill.
  3. Follow Anderson Butte Road from where Griffin Creek Road turns off for about 2 miles to BLM road 38-2-26 on your right.
  4. Turn right onto dirt BLM road 38-2-26 and drive 3.2 miles to the Grub Gulch Trailhead sign – at the turn-off for a gated BLM road 39-2-3 (note that this road is open for motorized users as well as non-motorized users – single track trails are open for non-motorized users only).
  5. If you walk downhill past the gate there is a kiosk with a map and information. Travel ¼ mile downhill to a fork to reach the SMDT (left) or take right fork to the Jack-Ash Trail to Griffin Lane. To travel uphill on the Jack-Ash from the Grub Gulch trailhead, walk east on BLM road 38-2-26 for 0.3 mile to the Jack-Ash Trail marker. Take the trail ramp which leads you uphill to the Griffin Gap TH.
  6. Hidden Creek Trail: is opposite the Grub Gulch Trailhead. It’s a 1-mile loop and has two entrances within a few yards of each other on the uphill side of the road.

Griffin Gap and Greenstone Trailheads:

  1. Follow #1-2 above for Grub Gulch and Hidden Creek TH directions, but continue on Anderson Butte Road for another 3 miles to the top of the ridge. Pavement ends right at the Griffin Gap Trailhead, to the right is a yellow gate and a parking area lined with boulders, straight ahead is Armstrong-Deming Road (BLM 39-2-8) Anderson Butte Road veers left.
  2. Jack-Ash trail takes off downhill toward Grub Gulch TH about 100 feet past parking area off Armstrong-Deming Road.
  3. For Greenstone TH, continue straight ahead (south) on Armstrong-Deming Road 1 mile. The Greenstone Trailhead is on your left (east side of the road), at a tight curve. The Jack-Ash Trail follows a decommissioned BLM road on the left side. Park along the road.

Anderson Ridge Trailhead:

  1. Follow directions to Griffin Gap Trailhead, at end of pavement bear hard left to continue uphill on the unpaved portion of Anderson Butte Road. Warning: Washboard road in places, drive slowly.
  2. Go 3.5 miles past a large quarry on your right and start going downhill. When you come out of the woods, Anderson Ridge TH is on your right where the view opens up.

From the Applegate Valley to the Jack-Ash Trailheads:

FROM RUCH/ APPLEGATE (driving on 238 towards Jacksonville):

  1. Turn right on Upper Applegate Road; drive approximately 3 miles, turn left onto Little Applegate Road
  2. Drive about 3 miles on Little Applegate Road to intersection with Sterling Creek Road on your left (at Buncom)
  3. For Griffin Lane Jack-Ash Trail access and to access Jack-Ash Trailheads from Griffin Lane direction, continue on Sterling Creek Road approximately 3 miles to a 90° bend. Griffin Lane is the unpaved road to the right, Sterling Creek Road continues to the left.
  4. To access the Grub Gulch, Griffin Gap, Greenstone, and Anderson Ridge Trailheads continue on Griffin Lane approximately 4.5 miles to the Griffin Creek Road/Griffin Lane junction. There are steep switchbacks on the unpaved road that are not recommended for horse trailers.
  5. Follow the directions for the Jack-Ash Trailheads from the Rogue Valley above.

Griffin Lane Access: Coming from lower Sterling Creek Road at Buncom and turning right onto Griffin Lane, drive approximately ½ mile to the third driveway on the right – address is #7595. See additional Griffin Lane Access information above. Please respect private property.

Grub Gulch Trailhead and Hidden Creek Trail via Armstrong-Deming Road: This is a shared trailhead for the SMDT, Jack-Ash Trail and Hidden Creek Trail. Parking along BLM road 38-2-26 across from the gate is available.

  1. From Sterling Creek Road, at almost the 9-mile marker, turn onto the Armstrong-Deming Road (BLM 39-2-8). Go about 100 yards to a “T”, turn left and head past the Deming and Wolf Gap Trailheads. Do not make any turns off this road until about 7 miles. Highly scenic!
  2. The Deming Rd will intersect BLM road 38-2-26 at about 7 miles. Turn SHARP left onto BLM road 38-2-26 and drive downhill about 2.7 miles to the Grub Gulch Trailhead sign/Hidden Creek Trail signs. You will see a gated BLM road 39-2-3 on your left.
  3. Walk downhill past the green gate – there is a kiosk with a map and information. Travel ¼ mile downhill to a fork. Take the left fork to reach the SMDT or take right fork to follow the Jack-Ash Trail to Griffin Lane.
  4. To travel uphill on the Jack-Ash towards Griffin Gap TH, walk east on BLM road 38-2-26 for 1/3 mile to the trail ramp on right side of road (marked with carsonite trail signs).
  5. Hidden Creek Trail is opposite the Grub Gulch Trailhead. It’s a 1-mile loop and has two entrances within a few yards of each other on the uphill side of the road.

Griffin Gap and Greenstone Trailheads:

  1. Follow #1 above but continue on Armstrong-Deming Road (BLM 39-2-8) at the intersection with BLM Road 38-2-26. Drive about 0.6 miles and you will see the Greenstone Trailhead on your right at the base of a rock face. Park along road. The Jack-Ash Trail follows a decommissioned road leaving from the left side of the rock face.
  2. To reach the Griffin Gap TH, drive another mile to the intersection with Anderson Butte Road. You will see a locked yellow gate and a parking area lined with boulders where there is parking. The trail takes off downhill about 100 feet before the parking area.

Anderson Ridge Trailhead:

  1. Follow directions to Griffin Gap Trailhead above. At the end of Armstrong-Deming Rd it ends at Anderson Butte Road, turn right on the unpaved portion of Anderson Butte Road. Warning: Washboard road in places, drive slowly.
  2. Travel 3.5 miles past a large quarry on your right and start going downhill about ¼ mile. When you come out of the woods, Anderson Ridge TH is on your right where view opens up.

NOTE: Trailhead and distance signs have been posted. We recommend downloading the black and white map of the Jack-Ash and Sterling Mine Ditch Trails from the SUTA website. For those wishing to explore the roads on Anderson Butte we recommend purchasing a BLM map covering the Ashland Resource area at the Medford BLM office.