Trans-Kalmiopsis Route – Heart of Oregon’s Wildest Wilderness
The Trans-Kalmiopsis Route is a 26-mile network of trails that crosses southwest Oregon’s 180,000-acre Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area. The challenging route transcends fire-shaped forests, traverses rocky ridge tops, and traipses through world famous botanical areas. The route provides access to the Upper Chetco River and its outstanding tributaries.
Access was almost lost completely when logs burned by the 2002 Biscuit Fire started to fall and form impenetrable stacks of wood throughout long trail sections. After over 6,000 hours of crews working on the ground, more than 2,400 logs logged out with crosscut saws, and countless hours of planning, the route is passable.
Beware of pests, but mostly rattlesnakes that reach healthy sizes throughout the Siskiyou range.
Pick up an Oregon Road Atlas and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest’s Powers/Gold Beach District Map. To get to Babyfoot Lake Trailhead follow Highway 199 south from Grants Pass through Selma and head west on Eight Dollar Mountain Road. Use Oregon Road Atlas to navigate to Babyfoot Lake Trailhead.
To get to the Vulcan Lake Trailhead head east on North Bank Chetco River Road from Highway 101 in Brookings, OR and follow Gold Beach District Map to trailhead. This road is not recommended for low clearance vehicles.
Always fill up on gas and be prepared. Call Brad Camden at 707-457-3365 for shuttle services to and from the trailhead.
Once You Get To The Trailhead
Use the interactive map below (click here for full screen version) to identify route on your Gold Beach District Map, the best map to use in the field. Zoom in and out with arrows on left hand side of screen. The Trans-Kalmiopsis Route utilizes sections of eight official trails: Babyfoot Lake Trail 1124A, Babyfoot Lake Rim Trail 1126, Kalmiopsis Rim Trail 1124, Emily Cabin Trail 1129, Bailey Cabin Trail 1131, Bailey Mountain Trail 1109, Upper Chetco Trail 1102 and Johnson Butte Trail 1110.
Junctions are not signed and often hikers miss them and get lost. Most easy to miss are the 1110-1910A junction near the Vulcan Lake Trailhead, where hikers tend to veer south onto 1910A without realizing it, and the 1129-1131 junction about 4.5-miles from the Babyfoot Lake Trailhead. The hike is arduous and difficult with many steep pitches; rocky, uneven tread and long, exposed sections without water.