Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,057.00 ft (322.17 m)
Trail type
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
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Pilot Rock is a popular Ashland-area climb, and it offers outstanding views of the Siskyou mountains to those who are adventurous enough to scramble to its summit at 5,960 feet.  Hikers start by parking along a section of the Pacific Crest Trail near Interstate 5 just north of the Oregon/ California border.

The hike winds casually along the PCT for a quarter mile before forking right where the signage clearly indicates Pilot Rock.  The grade here gains slowly for 3/4 mile until you reach the base of Pilot Rock itself at around 5330 feet.  There are two trails that traverse to the left of the rock...both take you to the same location at the base of the Class III / IV climb up to the summit.  This climb is not recommended for novice hikers as it is sometimes exposed and will require at least one class IV maneuver in order to reach the summit.  Also remember that it is often easier to climb up than it is to climb down, and your descent may feel more difficult or provide more vertigo than your ascent. 

The climb itself is steady and provides solid handholds and footholds for climbers.  Follow the clear chute, hugging the rock wall to your left all the way to the summit.  The summit itself is large, and there is plenty of room to spread out and enjoy a snack and the beautiful views of the Siskyou mountains.  If the summit is crowded, you may find yourself waiting to descend as others move through the easiest climbing path.  Be prepared to wait during peak seasons.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Easy to access. Beautiful views.


Crowded hike. Summit may not be reachable by all.

Trailhead Elevation

4,902.00 ft (1,494.13 m)


Rock climbing
Big vistas



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I just did this trip 1/11/15. The wear the started out ok but as we started the hike it got cold! Bring a jacket. We were told by a fellow hiker you could drive up to the climb. This information was not true. There isn't a road to the base of Pilot Rock. The trail is marked well except for a few trees down across the trails.
We always take our dog when we hike however your dog will NOT be able to make it to the top. From the base of the rock the climb was steep with lots of loose rock Watch out below!!. Once the trail ended we climbed the rock. We didn't have gear but wouldn't let our dog try it. Good hiking boots recommended. We had our kids with us (11& 13) We didn't feel comfortable having them try to climb to the top.

We are going try this hike again in the summer when its warmer an not so wet. Great views, great one day hike, can't wait for summer.
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