Illinois River

Illinois River Trail at Silver Creek, before the bridge

  • Moderate (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

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.