Woodrat Mountain is a 4,124 ft peak near Ruch Oregon, just south of Jacksonville, which is a popular launch site for hang gliders and paragliders (and partying high schoolers – though this is certainly not legal).
From the peak you have an incredible view of the Rogue Valley, the Applegate Valley, and the surrounding mountains – you can even see the rim of Crater Lake. And the drive to the top is relatively smooth and short; a 2wd sedan will easily make it. It really is one of the best short outings around with a big payoff.
Tip: I would recommend approaching Woodrat from Sterling Creek Rd – the dirt road drive is the shortest.
How to get there
From Jacksonville: Take Hwy 238 for 3 miles; turn left onto Cady Rd (at the top of Jville Hill), go 0.5 miles; turn right onto Sterling Creek Rd, go 4.6 miles; turn right onto Woodrat Mountain Rd (there is a sign); you're now on a dirt road; slight right to stay on Woodrat Mountain Rd; slight left at 38-3-23.1; turn left at Woodrat Mountain Rd; slight left to stay on Woodrat Mountain Rd – you're at the top.
If you're already in Ruch: Take Hwy 238 north 1 mile; turn right at Bishop Creek Rd; take the first right to stay on Bishop Creek Rd; Bishop Creek Rd turns slightly right and becomes BLM Rd 38-3-23.1/Squires Peak Rd; turn left at 38-3-23.1; slight right at Woodrat Mountain Rd; slight left to stay on Woodrat Mountain Rd – you've arrived.