Ever since hearing John Nilsen's Ghost of Kalmiopsis from his 2002 album Across Oregon as a youngster in junior high, I've wanted to venture out into this wilderness. I found my opportunity while driving up through Southwest Oregon from a family reunion in Yosemite in August. I had a 2-3 night trip planned (leaning towards 3) starting and ending at Chetco Pass. Mostly following recently restored trails I knew it would be rough but I was prepared for a bit of discomfort. At the end of the day, however, Kalmiopsis got the better of me! Unfortunately, I was coming down with a cold the days prior to the trip and symptoms worsened the first night/morning. I resolved to head back to my car after plowing through all the tissue I brought in the first night and sensing the illness was only going to get worse, especially with strenuous activity. I think the true crux of my experience was packing too much weight for such rugged and steep travel. The climb back to Chetco Pass on the overgrown mining trail/roads was ... HARD. None the less I got a good taste of what that region is all about and look forward to returning.
Here are some photos. Although not entirely interesting I figure these are worth sharing as this is an ever-changing landscape and a minimally photographed area. Shout out to the Siskiyou Mountain Club for all the work and advocating they do for this natural treasure. This trip would not have happened without their existence.
Swinging Bridge at the junction of my access road with Illinois River Rd.
Fun driving up this twisty road carved into the steep slopes of the Siskiyous!
Assumed to be an old mining relic. (there were many others, wish I got pictures)
The trusty Oldsmobile basking in the glory of doing all the work of me getting to the pass.
Clouds and rain made an unexpected appearance the first day. At one point I had to set up camp and wait it out, but fortunately the weather improved by late afternoon.
Curious little creatures, what a face! Easily the favorite photo of the trip.
Taggart's Bar hiding from the morning sun.
A typical view of the Chetco River from the Upper Chetco Trail 1102.
This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
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