Standing Stone, Pilot Rock and the California border in the Soda Mountain Wilderness Area & Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
Pilot Rock, called Standing Stone by the native American Indians, is located just South of Ashland, Oregon in Jackson County. It’s a volcanic plug: a lava vent that cooled and the softer dirt eroded away from it over thousands of years. Southern Oregon is blessed by this interesting and beautiful view, 4×4 run and hike.
Located in the Soda Mountain Wilderness Area, and protected by the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Pilot Rock is one of the most identifiable landmarks near the Oregon-California border in Jackson County. Take I-5 to the Calahan’s / Mt. Ashland Exit. Continue toward Mt. Ashland but don’t turn on the Ski Park access road. Instead, continue on old Highway 99 until you reach a left turn a couple miles after that. There is a sign that says Pilot Rock. Continue on until you reach a gravel parking area in an old rock quarry. Continue up the old road for a little over a mile and you will come to the trail head.
It is a steep ascent to the top with a bit of a rickety latter in one part, but totally manageable. The view from the top is astounding. You can see from Shasta to McLaughlin and everything in between. Dear, rabbits, grouse, quail and other wildlife is plentiful and easy to spot near the rock.
PILOT ROCK ODDITIES: There are is some interesting non-native wildlife there. There was a Jacobs African Goat that lived up there years back. Not sure if there were more, but someone turned him loose up there. Picture is on this page from about 2004. If there are more, I will buy you coffee if you get a picture of a Pilot Rock African Goat. There is also a goldfish pond. It’s an old, impromptu pot grow water storage pond busted in the 70’s per an old-timer from Ashland I know. He said they raised goldfish in the pond so the water was highly fertile. It is a 10-15 mile hike now that you can’t 4×4 there with the wilderness area. My kids had gold fish when they were young named Pilot and Rock that were retrieved from the pond. There were 1000’s. It was in 2000, so if they survived to the 70’s they are probably still there.