Rough and Ready Botanical Wayside


The Rough and Ready Botanical Wayside is co-managed by both the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and the Medford District Bureau of Land Management, as well as by the State of Oregon.

The botanical wayside consists of a 19-acre Oregon State Park, a 1,164-acre BLM Area of Critical Environmental Concern, and a 1,560-acre US Forest Service Botanical Area. A rocked trail originates at the parking area, traverses the State Park, and leads to Rough and Ready Creek, located on BLM-administered lands. The trail continues through to the RRSNF-managed Botanical Area.

Soils at Rough and Ready Botanical Wayside consist of ultramafic alluvial deposits from Rough and Ready Creek. The wayside provides an excellent place to observe the strong effects that soil types have on plants. The ultramafic deposits have led to serpentine soil conditions favoring a unique plant community that is sparse in appearance! But don't be fooled: look closer and you're bound to see a wide variety of plants that have adapted to these soils that are endemic to the area. A starting list of plants you may find in this area can be found at, but visitors may want to bring a plant identification book to add to the list! The best times to see wildflowers are April-June.

This is a diverse area, not just in its flora, but in its topography. Visitors should remember to look up once in awhile and see the mountains that eventually give way to the majestic Kalmiopsis Wilderness to the west. Rising above the wayside are knob-like hills characterized by non-serpentine soils where dense Douglas-fir forests, more typical of Pacific Northerwest forests, flourish, as well as other conifer species.

Fact: Even with the sparse appearance in the area, this area typically receives 60-70 inches of precipitation a year!

At a Glance

Area Amenities: Picnic tables, Parking
Best Season: Spring-early Summer
Closest Towns:
  • O'Brien, OR
  • Cave Junction, OR
  • Grants Pass, OR
Information Center: Considerations: Please note that the majority of the area lacks designated trails, and is to be explored by foot travel only to protect the unique diversity of the flora visitors will find here! Please wear sturdy shoes with adequate ankle support for your needs. Rattlesnakes may be present in the warmer months. Summer temperatures often exceed 100 degrees Farenheit in the peak summer months. Bring enough water to keep you hydrated for your adventure!

General Information


From Cave Junction, OR, travel south on Highway 199 for 4.5 miles. Parking for the Wayside is located on the right side of the highway, with a covered picnic table and a kiosk visible from the road.

General Notes:

 A covered picnic table and informational kiosk are located at the parking area to better provide on-site information to visitors.


Day Hiking

Viewing Wildlife

Viewing Plants

Viewing Scenery

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities