#959 in Rogue River National Forest
Copyright 2009-2011 by Mario D. Vaden. Photo shows smooth bark Madrone with Canyon Live Oak behind, near the 2,800 foot elevation.
Cook and Green trail is a few miles south of Applegate Lake in Southern Oregon, by the Oregon & California border. This is Rogue River National Forest. The album at the bottom of the page gives a basic idea what the area is like. This trail is about 6 miles from the Collings Mountain trail with the Bigfoot Trap. Cook and Green trail is in the area near Applegate Lake on this MAP .
My first hike at Cook and Green trail was December 2006. The weather was cool with a mix of sunshine and snow; not enough to stick to the ground at 3100 feet elevation. The roar of Cook and Green Creek could be heard below. Several seasonal brooks and small waterfalls cascaded down the hill. Maybe 2" of snow was noticeable at about 4500 feet. Cook and Green creek is out of sight most of the way, but can be heard. At 4 miles, the trail crosses the creek at wooded campsite area.
This is a fine hiking trail all year to about 4000 feet. The upper elevations might need to wait until May. The seasonal brooks on the hillside gulleys dissappear in summer, but there are two springs along the trail all year for water. Cook and Green Creek below, runs all year. This is a fine trail, worth the winter hike even if you can only go 3 to 4 miles up the trail.
From Forest Service road 1040 the trail gradually ascends through mixed forest of canyon live oak, madrone and big leaf maple and some big conifers. The trail continues 3.5 miles above Cook and Green Creek before reaching No-See-Em camp. A mile marker at the campsite was 4 miles. This campsite is one of only two sites large enough for 1 or 2 tents. After, the trail climbs gradually along the west side of Bear Gulch where deciduous forest gives way to large stands of old growth Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine, noble fir and rare Brewers spruce. Ferns, beargrass and huckleberry blanket the forest floor with Mahonia. A small spring is located prior to reaching Cook and Green Pass, marking the end of Cook and Green Trail. The
Cook and Green trail derives it's name from Robert Cook and two Green brothers who were mining partners in several mining ventures in this area: 1870s to 1880s.
Directions: west of Jacksonville, Oregon, turn from Hy. 238 onto Upper Applegate Rd. and proceed to Applegate Lake. Go to the end of the lake, turn left and proceed to Road 1040 and turn right. Go to the trailhead for trail #959. Take a forest map along. A ranger station is available before reaching the lake, but it is not open on weekends. Cook and Green Trail #959 - 8.2 miles - offers a 15 mile loop. This loop can be completed by taking Cook and Green Trail (8.2 miles) to the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail at Cook and Green Pass. From Cook and Green Pass, go southwest on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail for 2 miles to Horse Camp Trail #958 above Echo lake. Turn right and descend on Horse Camp Trail past Echo Canyon for 3.9 miles to the Horse Camp Trail. From the Horse Camp Trailhead, walk north on road 1040 for 0.5 mile to the Cook and Green trailhead.
The trailhead is close to 2200 feet elevation, and the first couple of miles will bring you to near 3000 feet elevation. The upper part of the trail, and the optional return loop, is between 4500 and 5500 feet elevation, and almost 6000 feet near Elk Meadow at the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. It's wise to carry water on this trip due to the length. Also beware of hazards like poison oak, ticks, and snakes. Black bears live in the area, but rarely bother anybody.