The Rough and Ready Botanical Wayside is co-managed by the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management's Medford District, and the State of Oregon. Full of the botanical and geologic wonders of the area, it's a place worth venturing to!
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has 6 Wild and Scenic Rivers, including one of the first to be honored with this designation in 1968: the Lower Rogue River!
The Glendale-Powers Bicycle Recreation Area offers the opportunity to bicyle through the ancient forests on the west side of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, along the beautiful Coquille River!
The Rogue River National Recreation Trail traverses the wild section of the Lower Rogue National Wild and Scenic River along its entire length.
The 15,000+ acre Ashland Municipal Watershed is home to more than 45 miles of multi-use trails for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians, and is an international destination for the unique beauty and diversity of the forests and Siskiyou Mountains.
A Wild and Scenic river, lush cranberry bogs, towering basalt sea stacks and vast ocean views await riders on the Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Bikeway.
The Forest Service prides itself in striving to make the outdoors available to everyone! Check out these cool places on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest that are accessible for those who utilize mobility devices!
Accessible Adventures: Cabin Rentals on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
Accessible Adventures: Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway
Interested in exploring more accessible places off of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest?
A uniquely American idea, wilderness is part of our country's heritage, and is passed on as a legacy to our children. Firmly attached to the American past, the legacy that is wilderness will remain indispensable to the American future. There are eight wilderness areas within the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. These special places are part of the 107 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of lands provides clean air, water, important habitats for diverse wildlife, as well as diverse and challenging recreational activities within the realm of solitude.
Sky Lakes Wilderness includes three major lake (former glacial) basins as it stretches along the crest of the volcanic Cascade Mountains from the border of Crater Lake National Park on the north to State Highway 140 in the south: Seven Lakes, Sky Lakes, and Blue Canyon basins.
Surrounding the Wild and Scenic Rogue River, the rugged canyon landscape of the Wild Rogue Wilderness provides watershed protection for the Wild portion of the river. The area is characterized by steep terrain of near vertical cliffs, razor-sharp ridges and cascading mountain creeks.
This Wilderness includes the headwater basin of the Chetco and North Fork Smith Rivers, and a portion of the Illinois River canyon. This is a harsh, rugged area with a beautifully unique character that resonates with anyone who ventures into its interior!
Covered in a tangled rain forest of coniferous evergreens thick with an ankle-grabbing understory, Grassy Knob Wilderness lies rugged and steep.
The 35,701 acre Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness is located in southwest Oregon, ten miles west of Crater Lake National Park. Geologic history has created many unique volcanic and sedimentary rock outcrops. Dense conifer forest gives way to a mosaic of big trees and sub-alpine meadows in the higher elevations.
The 20,796 acre Red Buttes Wilderness straddles the crest of the Siskiyou Mountains. The twin summits of Red Buttes anchor the southern extreme of the area in California, where reddish peridotite rock, nudged up from a 425-million-year-old seafloor by plate shifts in the earth's crust, now supports unusual plant communities.
The Copper Salmon Wilderness contains one of the nation's largest remaining stands of low-elevation old-growth forest, and in the north Fork of the Elk, one of the healthiest salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat trout runs in the continental United States.
Mt. McLoughlin is located within the Sky Lakes Wilderness. The 5-mile long trail to the summit of Mt. McLoughlin begins as a moderate hike through stands of conifers, and as hikers increase their elevation, the trail winds through rocky terrain. Those who summit this Cascade Range peak are treated to 360 degree views that are unrivaled!
We encourage everyone who wishes to climb this amazing mountain to familiarize themselves with the information included in this poster:
- Informational Map (PDF)
Ascending Mt. McLoughlin: The hike from the trailhead to the top of the peak involves an elevation gain of about 4,000 feet. There is no water along the summit trail; carry enough liquids for your needs! After the trail leaves the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail behind (approximately 1.5 miles from the parking lot trailhead), the trail ascends through a boulder-strewn forest. Watch for blazed trees that function as trail markers! Above the timberline, piled-up rock cairns mark the route to the ridgetop summit route. Along the ridge, the trail is marked by the old Forest Service telephone poles which lead to the top. Due to steep slopes, poor footing and coarse bare rock, horses are not recommended for the Mt. McLoughlin Trail above its junction with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.
Descending Mt. McLoughlin: The trail can be difficult to follow during the descent, particularly if it is getting late and the light is fading. Stay alert for trail blazes and familiar landmarks. Look back up the trail occasionally; this may help you stay on it as you go down. If you lose the trail and cannot find it again, the best direction to travel would be to the east or southeast (which will take you either to the Pacific Crest Trail or to Highway 140).
CAUTION! Each year, a number of people become disoriented or lost on the way back down, usually due to coming down a different route than they used when climbing the mountain. As tempting as it may seem to descend the sandy, cinder slope on the south side of the mountain, the lower you go on this slope, the farther away you are from the trail. Once down to timberline, it is a 2 mile, boulder-hopping hike northeast back to the trail.
To avoid getting lost and disoriented, hikers should return back down the ridge, keeping the poles in sight until the trail leaves the ridge.
Know Before You Go: Although summertime weather is usually mild at the mountain's base, the summit is subject to cold winds, driving rains, lightning and snow storms. Be prepared for weather changes, and know the symptoms and treatment of hypothermia. Bring along warm, rain-repellent clothing.
Use this QR code to get you directly to Avenza Maps, where you can download the Mt. McLoughlin Trail Map for FREE. It'll help you stick to the trail on your descent, making your whole adventure a bit safer!
Alerts & Warnings
- Effective 9/20: Wild and Scenic Lower Rogue River Stage 1 Fire Restrictions
- Butte Fork Trail Bridge in Red Buttes Wilderness Closed Through July 2023
- Effective 7/27: Forest-Wide Stage 1 Fire Restrictions
- Understanding Parking and Fire Restrictions on the Illinois River
- Bear-Human Interactions on the Rise!
- Seasonal Alcohol Prohibition on Recreation Section of Illinois River