Deep Gorge (Illinois River)

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Date: 12/3/16
Hike Difficulty: easy
Hike Length: 1.5 mi
Elevation Gain: 466 ft
Time: 31 mins

My original plan was to go all the way to the end of Illinois River Rd where the trailhead for a 10-20 mile loop starts, but my car is a low-slung passenger vehicle that can’t make it up the rough roads. I can actually get pretty far but there comes a point when I get scared I’m going to punch a hole in my oil pan or something. So, I turned around and went with a few of the shorter trails along the Illinois River that I had passed by.

The first one was Deep Gorge trail, which sounds like there’s a deep gorge to be found. In actuality, I think it’s named after a chromium mine that the trail travels near. In any case, there was a pretty view of Dailey Creek cascading down the rocks.

I went down the road and started the Kerby Flat trail also, but seeing as I just recently got a new tattoo and it was bugging me, I didn’t do the whole 5 miles. I’ll return to the area soon, considering it’s a new area for me and all the other hikes are snowed in.

3 thoughts on “Deep Gorge (Illinois River)

  1. Yes, that drive is a tough and tricky one with a low-slung car. An alternative to Forest Road 4103 (the usual route to the Briggs Creek trailhead) is FR 4105, which is a good gravel road that will take you within 2, easily walkable, miles of the Briggs Creek trailhead. I’m guessing the 10-20 mile loop you’re referring to is the one still in many of the guidebooks: From Briggs Creek to Bald Mountain by going out to Pine Flat on the Illinois River Trail, then down to the Flat and back up to near the summit on the Florence Way Trail (#1219A). This loop has become increasingly difficult as the adverse impacts of the 2002 Biscuit fire continue to be felt and maintenance is directed at the more popular trails. My experience is that it is now overgrown, filled in with downed trees, arduous to pass, and quite difficult to find in many places. Expect serious route finding and bushwhacking, along with poison oak, ticks, and rattlesnakes. However, an overnight backpack to Pine Flat would be great!

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  2. Pingback: Illinois River Trail to Pine Flat | oregonnater

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