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Illinois River

(to Buzzards Roost)
5 miles round trip
900 feet elevation gain

Difficult (to Indian Flat)
8.8 miles round trip
1700 feet elevation gain

Very Difficult (to Silver Creek)
17.2 miles round trip
2900 feet elevation gain 

Left: Illinois River Trail at Silver Creek, before the bridge.

The Illinois River is even wilder than its famous neighbor, the Rogue. In fact, the canyon here is so rugged that the 27-mile Illinois River Trail never actually reaches the riverbank. Instead the path traverses up to a viewpoint atop the cliffs of Buzzards Roost, dips deeply into the canyons of several side creeks, and finally climbs over 3747-foot Bald Mountain. Backpacking the entire 27 miles to the Briggs Creek Trailhead (not shown on map) is a serious adventure, but day hikers can get a good sample with trips to Buzzards Roost, Indian Flat, or Silver Creek. The route has recovered well from the 2002 Biscuit Fire, that mostly burned brush.

From the Highway 101 bridge ...

If you’d like a longer hike, continue ...

Other Options
To backpack the remainder of the 27-mile Illinois River Trail, ...

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range.

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