To see the rugged and wild side of nature, take a trip along the 55-mile long Chetco River. The upper 45 miles of the river, from its headwaters to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest boundary, has been given the federal designation of wild and scenic river, with the last 9.5 miles from Eagle Creek a recreational segment.
In the summer, visitors love to go fishing, four-wheel driving, hiking, swimming, picnicking, rafting, kayaking, camping and wildlife-viewing on the river. In the winter, people partake of excellent salmon and steelhead fishing, and a few brave and hardy souls go white-water kayaking.
At its headwaters in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, the mountainous terrain is steep, sparsely vegetated and deeply dissected; the river floor is narrow and boulder-strewn, with many rapids and falls. Leaving the wilderness, the river begins to widen but still narrows at points, crossing through rocky outcroppings where it leaves behind gigantic boulders. The dramatic Chetco River Gorge, with its abrupt sides and unique rock formations, is well worth a visit. Below it, the river continues to broaden with sandbars and raised river terraces. The river eventually empties into the Pacific Ocean between Brookings and Harbor, just five miles north of the California border, where it is gentler, the river bottom wider and its banks covered by dense forest. Along its journey it drops 3,700 feet in elevation.
Where: The Chetco River winds through the southern part of Curry County and can be found by going to the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in Siskiyou National Forest or driving along North Bank Chetco River Rd. off Hwy 101 near Brookings.
More Info: 541-618-2200 | FS.USDA.gov