Rough and Ready Creek

Easy 3 miles round-trip 230 feet elevation loss Open all year

A red cobble desert with 60 inches of rain a year? This creek near the southern Oregon border has flushed out the largest alluvial fan of ancient mantle rock in North America, a weird landscape of dwarf trees and spectacular spring wildflowers. Almost all the rock here is peridotite or serpentine, stuff that belongs so far beneath the Earth’s crust that it has few nutrients for plant life. Deep gravel drains away rain, creating a summer desert. The flowers here are so rare that the Illinois Valley Garden Club convinced the state in 1937 to create a botanical park to stop people from digging up plants to sell as oddities.

From Grants Pass, take Highway 199 south . . .

This chapter taken from the book, 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Southern Oregon & Northern California.

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