100 Hikes in Southern Oregon

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9780981570136: 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon

This detailed guide to Southern Oregon and adjacent Northern California proves there's more to this scenic region than just Crater Lake, the Rogue River, and Mt. Shasta. Come discover a hot springs in the hills behind Roseburg, a wildflower mecca near Ashland, and a hidden lake basin in the Trinity Alps! The book describes 56 best hikes for families with children, but there's a variety of tougher trails too, and plenty of options for backpackers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. For adventurers, there's even a list of 100 more hikes in Southern Oregon.

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About the Author:

William L. Sullivan is the author of a dozen books and numerous articles about Oregon, including a monthly "Oregon Trails" column for the Eugene Register-Guard. A fifth-generation Oregonian, Sullivan began hiking at the age of five and has been exploring new trails ever since. After receiving an English degree from Cornell University and studying at Germany's Heidelberg University, he completed an M.A. in German at the University of Oregon. In 1985 Sullivan set out to investigate Oregon's wilderness on a 1,361-mile solo backpacking trek from the state's westernmost shore at Cape Blanco to Oregon's easternmost point in Hells Canyon. His journal of that two-month adventure, published as "Listening for Coyote," was chosen by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission as one of Oregon's "100 Books," the most signifcant books in Oregon history. Since then Sullivan has authored three novels, two books on Oregon history, and a series of "100 Hikes" guidebooks. He and his wife Janell live in Eugene, but spend summers at the log cabin they built by hand on a remote, roadless river in Oregon's Coast Range. Sullivan's memoir, "Cabin Fever", chronicles the adventure of building that cabin retreat.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Hike #86, Rogue River Trail East

Easy (to Whisky Creek) 7 miles round-trip 300 feet elevation gain Open all year Maps: Mt. Reuben, Bunker Hill (USGS)

Difficult (Grave Creek to Marial) 23.2 miles one way 2800 feet elevation gain Additional maps: Kelsey Creek, Marial (USGS)

At times the irascible Rogue River idles along in lazy green pools, but elsewhere it's misty mayhem, plunging over Rainie Falls or boiling through Mule Creek Canyon's Coffeepot. During the peak whitewater season from May 15 to October 15, the 40-mile stretch between Grave Creek and Illahe has become such a popular float trip for kayakers and rafters that the Forest Service holds a lottery to issue 10,000 permits from 90,000 applications.

But why not hike through this spectacular river canyon instead? The 40-mile Rogue River Trail offers the same scenery without the crowds or the permit hassles.

This eastern section of the famous trail begins with a 3.5-mile jaunt that's easy enough for hikers with children. From Grave Creek, the route passes Rainie Falls' frothy 15-foot cascade and leads to the Whisky Creek Cabin, a gold miner's shack from 1880 restored as a rustic museum. Backpackers continuing west should bring stoves because campfires are only allowed within 400 feet of the river if they're kept in firepans. At night, hang food at least 10 feet high and 5 feet from a tree trunk to discourage black bears.

To find the eastern trailhead at the Grave Creek bridge, take Interstate 5 north of Grants Pass 18 miles (or south of Roseburg 48 miles) to Wolf Creek exit 76, drive half a mile to the Wolf Creek Tavern, turn off into town 2 blocks, go under a railroad overpass, turn left, and follow this paved road 15 miles. Just before the Grave Creek bridge, turn right to a boat ramp and trail parking area.

Mossy, gnarled canyon live oak trees provide spots of shade along the trail. Western fence lizards do push-ups on rocks, warning other lizards away from their territory. Expect tall blue wildflowers in May: cluster lily and 6-petaled elegant brodiaea. Beware of poison oak along the trail. At 0.2 mile the path overlooks Grave Creek Rapids, a rock-walled chute where boaters flail. After 1.2 miles, a trailside high-water mark commemorates the 1964 flood's crest, 55 feet above normal river level. Just beyond are the cement piers of Sanderson's Bridge, a miner's mule bridge from 1907 swept away by a 1927 flood.

In another 0.6 mile, a short fork to the left leads to the shore beside Rainie Falls. Most boats are lined around the falls on a channel blasted out of the rock for migrating fish. Daring souls in large rubber rafts sometimes run the falls without flipping. Continue on the main trail 1.6 miles, pass a cluster of popular campsites at a sandy beach, and then cross Whisky Creek on a footbridge. Here a spur to the right leads up to the historic 2-room log cabin, with its collection of rusty mining memorabilia. Note the 1890 flume ditch just uphill.

Backpackers continuing to Marial will find the Rogue River Trail mostly traverses rocky slopes high above the river. Just 0.4 mile past Whisky Creek is Big Slide Camp, a quiet riverside tent area where a late 1800s landslide briefly dammed the Rogue, backing it up 15 miles. Attractions farther down the trail include Horseshoe Bend's dramatic river loop, Western author Zane Grey's (private) log cabin at Winkle Bar, and the restored 1903 Rogue River Ranch museum beside the Marial trailhead. To shuttle a car to Marial from the Grave Creek trailhead, turn left on the Mt. Reuben Road and follow signs 38.7 miles to Marial, mostly along narrow, winding gravel roads. For a description of the Rogue River Trail's next section, the 15 miles from Marial to Illahe, see Hike #85.

OTHER OPTIONS The Rogue River Trail traverses sunny south-facing slopes that can be dizzyingly hot in August. For a cooler summer jaunt, park on the shoulder at the south end of the Grave Creek bridge and take the shady South Shore River Trail. It ends in 1.9 miles at a better viewpoint of Rainie Falls than the north shore offers.

If you'd really rather float the Rogue<197>usually a 3-day whitewater trip from Grave Creek to Illahe<197>write for permit information to the Rand Visitor Center, 14335 Galice Highway, Merlin, OR 97532, or call (541) 479-3735.

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