THE EAST APPLEGATE RIDGE TRAIL
"The East ART"
THE EAST APPLEGATE RIDGE TRAIL: The very beautiful 5.6-mile East ART, is on the eastern end of the of the proposed 50-mile Applegate Ridge Trail (ART). This trail is the result of a cooperative development between the BL M and the Applegate Trails Association. Hikers can park at a roomy trailhead accessed from a gravel road off Sterling Creek Road, hike a few hours on a gorgeous trail of easy to moderate difficulty. There is an alternate end entry off Hwy 238 near the intersection of Forest Creek Rd..
Sterling Creek Rd. Entrance: The East ART is easily accessed, close to urban centers, and can be hiked year around. Coming from the Sterling Creek trailhead (3056’ elevation) the first half of the trail averages a gentle 3% grade. When Bishop Creek and the incredible views of Ruch are left behind you have begun the second half and the descent to Hwy 238.
A favorite way to see the entire trail is to do a thru hike. Leave a vehicle at the temporary parking spot off Hwy 238 (1774’ elevation) and drive a second vehicle around to the Sterling Creek trailhead. Do the thru hike (in about 3 hours), and drive back to get the vehicle at the main trailhead.
This trial is a winner all around and one of the most beautiful in the Applegate – for its forests, oak savannas, wildflowers, grassy hillsides, and, especially, open slopes that provide those fantastic views. However, slopes open to fantastic views are also slopes open to the sun, great in the winter but in the summer, this can be a hot trail. Bring plenty of water and wear a hat!
Directions Sterling Creek Road Entry:
If you are traveling on Highway 238 from Jacksonville toward the Applegate Valley, go approximately 2.8 miles to Jacksonville Summit. At the Summit, take a LEFT onto Cady Road. 1/2 mile down Cady Rd., take the second right onto Sterling Creek Road. Go 4 miles. A sign marks the turnoff for the trail. Another navigation method is to find the 4-mile marker on Sterling Creek Road, then about 125 yards past the marker turn right and proceed up the gravel road 0.6 miles to the trailhead. Also, this trailhead is a place, East Applegate Ridge Trail, in Google Maps.
If coming from Ruch/Applegate, take Hwy 238 towards Jacksonville and in approximately 5.5 miles, (at the top of Jacksonville Hill), turn right onto Cady Road. Follow the directions as noted above.
Directions Hwy 238 Entry:
From Jacksonville, about 5 miles past Jacksonville on Hwy 238 heading towards Ruch Forest Creek Road will be on the right. About 300 yards past Forest Creek Road (at the end of the guard rail) you will see a sign for the East Applegate Ridge Trail. Turn left on to the dirt road heading up the hill and slightly right. In a couple 100 yards you'll be in the parking lot.
WARNING TO EQUESTRIANS:
While equestrians are welcome, due to several narrow sections of the trail that cross steep slopes, and a couple tight switchbacks, most riders avoid this trail. Should a rider meet hikers or bicyclists coming the opposite direction, there is no room to turn around.
PLEASE DO NOT RIDE WHEN IT'S RAINING, AND FOR THREE DAYS THEREAFTER. GIVE IT A CHANCE TO DRY OUT. RIDING WHEN IT'S MUDDY DAMAGES THE TRAIL AND SANTA'S ELVES WON'T COME FIX IT.