This visually arresting backcountry drive follows the Rogue River and crosses the majestic mountain wilderness of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. It is the only route to the Oregon coast from I-5 between the California-Oregon border and the Rogue. From spectacular vistas of the Rogue River’s rugged canyons, over the 4,600 foot summit at Bear Camp Overlook, and on past Agness to Gold Beach, travelers are rewarded with some of the most breathtaking views of unspoiled beauty in the Western United States.
The road is one lane wide in places and often steep and winding, with turnouts and occasional graveled stretches where the paved surface has been repaired. From the beginning of November to the end of May it is impassable because of snow. During the summer, however, it is a popular route, particularly with local residents. If you are from out of town, the drive is a once in a lifetime experience. Be sure to bring along a camera. It is about 87 miles from Grants Pass to Gold Beach along this route, with an estimated drive time of a little over 3 hours.
Where: Take I-5 north from Grants Pass to the Merlin exit (#61) and follow Merlin/Galice Rd. to Galice Creek Access Rd. Here you can take a stunning but little known side trip by continuing north on the Merlin/Galice Rd. for 8 more miles of magnificent river and canyon views to the end, at Grave Creek Bridge, or you can turn west at the juncture and continue your journey to the coast without interruption. As you travel west the road changes name, character and designation several times, becoming Bear Camp Rd., Agness Rd. and Jerrys Flat Rd.
More Info: For road conditions call Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Wild Rivers Ranger District, Grants Pass, at 541-471-6500.
Next Up: #65 – Valley of the Rogue State Park