The group I often hike with calls this “The Blue Gentian Hike”. Timing for this hike if you want to see the flowers should be from late August until mid September. This year we did the hike on September 29th and there were still a few flowers blooming. Hiking distance is out and back so can vary from 5 to 10 miles, depending on your stamina.
Although there are a few ways to access this hike, the most common directions seem to tell you to start at the Mt. Ashland Ski Area and exit the top parking lot on Forest Road 20. Continue until you get to the trailhead at the right of the junction with Forest Rd. 20 and Rd. #2030. You can also reach the trailhead by going south from Jacksonville, Oregon 7 miles on highway 238 to Ruch and turning left on Upper Applegate Road at the Ruch Country Store. Go about 9 miles and turn left on Forest Road 20. Follow Road 20 18 miles to the trailhead at Wrangle Gap and Forest Service Road 2030.
Here is a web site that list directions for accessing the Siskiyou Crest/Wrangle Gap trail. We began our hike differently, approaching the Pacific Crest Trail, which this hike follows, driving from Talent, Oregon on Wagner Creek Road, continuing up past Wagner Butte. You can download my waypoint.gpx file here if you have a GPS receiver or a mapping program. That way you can see exactly where this hike is.
Below are a few more photos from this hike. If you are reading this on the blog page, you can click the post title and get a better view of the photos on a full width, single post, page.