Shannon Browne | July 18, 2016
What a special spot! I highly recommend this area to anyone with a good clearance vehicle. The drive alone out to Whiskey Peak, along Applegate Road and past the reservoir, is beautiful. Once you transition to Forest Road 1035 and start climbing in elevation, there is a viewpoint overlooking the Red Buttes Wilderness basin and the peaks of the Siskiyou crest.
After a few more miles you come to Forest road 350, take this left. The trailhead is hidden up behind a steep road with an open gate (officially road 356). If you get to the Y where the road starts to head back down the mountain, you've gone too far.
The hike is a short 0.6 miles, although quite steep. Look for the foundation of the old fire lookout, which was constructed in 1922. The lookout was later abandoned when more sophisticated technology was available for monitoring forests.
Whiskey peak is an area of botanical interest managed by the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest. I can see why, there were so many beautiful wildflowers blooming along the road. Bright patches of pinks, reds, yellows, and white.
As for conifers, I was delighted to find a healthy thicket of mountain hemlock, interspersed with Brewer spruce to the right as you walk up the trail. The Brewer spruce created the perfect shaggy tree silhouette through which you can view the surrounding mountain peaks and drainages.