Signature Routes of the Siskiyou Backwoods

About our Signature Routes
These routes are simply suggestions of hikes to take. In all cases, we put in a lot of work with our partners to restore long gaps in the routes, but didn’t usually have to restore the entire thing. We promise to maintain the entirety of these routes at a minimum of once every three years.

Disclaimer: These routes are maintained infrequently, and we cannot guarantee perfect trail conditions. Please brush up on the 7 Leave No Trace Principles before your next adventure. We are not responsible for any misadventures or accidents. Trail conditions change rapidly, especially in post-fire environments. 

Check out our most recent work log here, which includes recent work completed and locations, and visit our interactive map, where you can zoom into specific trails and get an idea of their most recent condition reports. 


"Cascade to Caves" or "Monument to Monument" Route

Miles: 85 (approximately)
Jurisdictions: Red Buttes Wilderness, Oregon Caves National Monument, Rogue River-Siskiyou and Klamath national forests.
Supporting partners: USDA Forest Service, private donors, REI



The Cascade to Caves Route uses about 50 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, from Pilot Rock to Cook ‘n Green Pass, then continues along a commanding complex of rocky summits rising to nearly 7,000’. It then drops into an expansive basin peppered by cedars so big they’re often mistaken for California Redwoods. From there, the route rises back to the high Siskiyous before reaching a labyrinth of marble caves.

Associated Map: Red Buttes Wilderness (doesn’t include PCT portion of route)


Illinois River Trail


Miles: 30
Jurisdictions: Kalmiopsis Wilderness, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
Support for work: USDA Forest Service agreements, private donors

This National Recreation Trail traverses the northern recess of Oregon’s Kalmiopsis Wilderness Areas, highlighting rare botanical areas, old growth forests, mountain prairies, and, of course, the rugged banks of the Illinois River canyon.

Associated Map: Kalmiopsis Wilderness (North)


Lilla and John Leach Loop


Miles: 50
Jurisdictions: Kalmiopsis Wilderness, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest (see map above)
Support for work: USDA Forest Service agreements, private donors

This 50-mile route rides along the Kalmiopsis Rim before dropping into Oregon’s Wild & Scenic Chetco River. It traverses the canyon for about 10 miles and rises again to the Kalmiopsis highlands. The trail route is exceptionally rugged, with over 14,000 feet of elevation profile.

Associated Map: Kalmiopsis Wilderness (South)



The Wolf Loop

Miles: 26
Jurisdictions: Sky Lakes Wilderness, Rogue River-Siskiyou, Fremont-Winema national forests
Support for work: USDA Forest Service agreements, private donors, REI



This 25-mile route threads along the banks of Oregon’s Middle Fork-Rogue River to its headwaters at Alta Lake. It then winds through a lake basin to the Pacific Crest Trail and descends along the historic Halifax Trail. The route features high meadows, volcanic formations, and provides solitude very hard to find in Oregon’s Cascade Range.

Associated Wilderness: Sky Lakes Wilderness (North)


The Wild Rogue Loop

Miles: 27
Jurisdictions: Wild Rogue Wilderness, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Medford Bureau of Land Management
Support for work: USDA Forest Service agreements, Oregon Recreational Trails Program, REI, private donors



The 27-mile route combined the Mule Creek, Panther Ridge, Clay Hill, and Rogue River trails to form an awe-inspiring loop that traverses Oregon’s Wild Rogue Wilderness (35,600 acres). The deep gorges of Mule Creek rise to stands of old growth more pristine than most anything west of Interstate-5. Clay Hill is home to a storied history, and the eight mile section of the Rogue River Trail from there to Mule Creek is especially unique.

Associated Map: Wild Rogue Wilderness

Back to blog