Table Rock: A Scenic Hike in Southern Oregon

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By Visit Oregon

Feb 22, 2023 / 1:16 am

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Southern Oregon is known for its scenic beauty, from its rugged coastline to its lush forests and mountains. One of the most popular outdoor attractions in the region is Table Rock. Table Rock is a prominent landmark that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. If you’re a hiker or nature lover, Table Rock is a must-visit destination in Southern Oregon.

Located in Jackson County, Table Rock is a pair of towering mesas that rise over 800 feet above the surrounding terrain. The North and South Table Rocks are both volcanic formations. They were created by ancient lava flows, and they offer a unique geological and ecological environment. The rocks are home to a variety of plant and animal species, and they offer some of the best views of the Rogue Valley and the Siskiyou Mountains.

The hike to Table Rock is a popular outdoor activity in Southern Oregon, attracting visitors from all over the region. The trail to the top is well-maintained and offers a moderate level of difficulty, making it suitable for hikers of all skill levels. The hike is approximately 2.5 miles round-trip and can take up to two hours to complete. Along the way, you’ll pass through oak savannas and grasslands, and you’ll have the chance to spot wildflowers, birds, and other wildlife.

At the top of Table Rock, hikers are rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. From the North Table Rock, visitors can see the Rogue River winding its way through the valley, while from the South Table Rock, they can take in views of Mount Ashland and the Klamath Mountains to the south. The view from the top is especially impressive at sunset, when the landscape is bathed in golden light.

Frequently asked Questions about Table Rock in Southern Oregon

Is Table Rock Open?

Table Rock is usually open year-round for hiking. However, it’s important to check current conditions and closures before visiting as it may be temporarily closed due to wildfire risk or weather-related hazards.

How long of a hike is Table Rock Medford Oregon?

The hike to Table Rock is approximately 2.5 miles round-trip and can take up to two hours to complete. If you’re going to hike Table Rock in the evening to watch the sunset it’s important to bring a flash light or leave early enough to make it back to the parking lot before dark. It takes time to get down from the summit and it can be difficult to do so after the sun goes down.

How were the Table Rocks in southern Oregon formed?

The Table Rocks in southern Oregon were formed through ancient volcanic eruptions that deposited layers of lava, ash, and other volcanic materials. Over time, the landscape was shaped by erosion and weathering, resulting in the unique geological formations we see today.

What time of year to hike Table Rock?

The best time to hike Table Rock is in the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and the wildflowers are in bloom. Summers can be very hot, and winters can be cold and wet, so it’s best to plan accordingly.

Which is better upper or Lower Table Rock?

Both the North and South Table Rocks offer stunning views and unique ecological environments. Some hikers prefer the North Table Rock for its more extensive trail system and panoramic views, while others prefer the South Table Rock for its quieter and less crowded atmosphere.

How difficult is it to walk up Table Rock?

The hike to Table Rock is considered moderate in difficulty, with a well-maintained trail that can be rocky and steep in some areas. It’s important to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water and sunscreen, especially on hot days.

Where are the oldest rocks in Oregon found?

The oldest rocks in Oregon are found in the Blue Mountains, which are located in the northeastern part of the state. These rocks date back to the Precambrian era, which is over 540 million years ago.

Why is it called Table Rock?

It is called Table Rock because the flat surface of the mesa resembles a table.

Is it true there used to be an air strip on Lower Table Rock?

Yes, if you view the lower Table Rock from Google Maps you can still see the line where the old airstrip once was. This was used primarily as a novelty airstrip back around the 1950’s.

History of the Rogue River Indian Wars

The Rogue River Indian Wars were a series of armed conflicts between the indigenous tribes of the Rogue River Valley and the United States government and its forces. The wars began in 1851 when gold was discovered in the region, attracting thousands of settlers to the area.

The conflicts were complex and lasted for several years, involving many different tribes and groups. Some tribes, such as the Takelma and the Shasta, were initially friendly to the settlers, while others, like the Rogue River and the Cow Creek bands of the Umpqua, were more hostile.

The wars were marked by several notable battles, including the Battle of Table Rock, which took place on October 8, 1855. During this battle, a group of soldiers attacked a native village located at the base of Table Rock, resulting in significant loss of life on both sides. The war continued for several more years, with both sides suffering heavy casualties.

The conflict ended with the forced relocation of many native tribes to reservations outside of their ancestral lands. This caused the loss of much of their cultural heritage and way of life. The legacy of the Rogue River Indian Wars is still felt by the native tribes of the region today, and efforts are ongoing to preserve their culture and traditions.

Final thoughts on Table Rock

If you’re planning a trip to Southern Oregon, Table Rock is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves hiking, nature, and scenic views. With its unique geological formations, diverse plant and animal life, and stunning vistas, Table Rock is a true gem of the region. So pack your hiking gear, bring your camera, and get ready to experience one of the most beautiful hikes in Southern Oregon.

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