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FATMAP difficulty grade
I've come up with a favorite new method for evaluating hikes.
Now, I grade every hike on an "effort-to-view ratio" which asks, "how much effort do you have to put in to get rewarded with beautiful views?" While I haven't quite defined a 10-point grading scale just yet, it is an interesting way to consider each hike that you go on.
At least, I find it interesting because that's the type of hiker that I am.
Please, let's skip the suffering and get straight to the views. Very few hikes in the state offer up as spectacular of an effort-to-view ratio as the East Applegate Ridge Trail! If hiked as a short out-and-back from the upper trailhead, within just a few moments of leaving the trailhead you'll pop out of the trees and enjoy long-range views of mountain ridges and deep valleys as far as the eye can see...
and you'll get to stare off into the distance for the entire hike! This entire 2.3-mile out-and-back jaunt along the ridge provides stunning views the entire way. While there is a small amount of climbing and descending if hiked in this fashion, I think FATMAP's 233-foot elevation gain and loss estimate is a little overzealous.
This hike is extremely mellow and suitable for the entire family.
While the route follows a singletrack dirt trail, it's very smooth and non-technical the entire way.
As an added bonus, since this route is an out-and-back, you can turn around at any point. You could also opt to hike further down the ridge for an even longer hike.
The entire trail runs about 5 miles one-way.
And if you want a more difficult hike, you can start from the opposite end and endure a steep climb to reach the ridgetop views. But what exactly is the point in that? Embrace this incredible effort-to-view ratio and soak in the scenery on the East Applegate Ridge Trail!