Cave Junction: 30 miles SW of Grants Pass, 56 miles NE of Crescent City
For many people, U.S. 199 is simply the road to the redwoods from southern Oregon. However, this remote stretch of highway passes through the Illinois Valley and skirts the Siskiyou Mountains, two areas that offer quite a few recreational activities. The Illinois River, which flows into the Rogue River, is an even wilder river than the Rogue, and experienced paddlers looking for real white-water adventures often run its Class V waters. Because the Siskiyou Mountains are among the oldest in Oregon, they support a unique plant community. These mountains are also known for their rugged, rocky peaks, which, though not very high, can be very impressive.
In 2002 a huge forest fire ravaged much of the forest in this area. However, in some areas, the fire only cleared out the underbrush and left the mature trees undamaged. If you are planning on going hiking around here, be sure to check the status of the area in which you plan to hike.