Galice-Hellgate Back Country Byway

Quick Facts

Galice-Hellgate Back Country Byway

Oregon

(541) 618-2200

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Upon entering this gateway into the back country, visitors can feel the cool mist surrounding Rainie Falls, a cascade along the wild and scenic portion of the Rogue River. The Galice-Hellgate National Back Country Byway is a 39-mile-long scenic motor route starting from Interstate 5 near Merlin ("Gateway to the Rogue") and progressing along the Rogue National Wild and Scenic River. The Byway travels past majestic vistas of a deep and rocky river canyon, densely wooded hillsides, and whitewater rapids. Motorists progress into the Siskiyou Mountains along one portion of the route, climbing up and away from the river and topping out into a high altitude forest environment offering spectacular views of nearby mountains and stands of Douglas fir. This portion of the route eventually takes travelers to Gold Beach and the Oregon coast and the historic Rogue River Ranch.

Spend a few hours on the Rogue River enjoying the great white water rafting, fishing or taking a guided tour--the wooded slopes along the river provide a pleasant and relaxing view. Explore the paths alongside the river. One of the best hiking trails around is the famous Rogue River Wild and Scenic Trail.

Map of Galice-Hellgate Back Country Byway

Latitude, Longitude: 42.512096, -123.416977

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Activities

  • Boating

    Boating on the Rogue River requires a permit, which can be obtained at the Rand Visitor Center near Galice, at the eastern terminus of the route.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    All food and supplies should be obtained prior to beginning the trip. There are no gas stations in the area. Travelers should fill their tanks when they purchase supplies in Grants Pass or Merlin. (From Galice, travel east approximately 20 miles on the Merlin-Galice Road to Interstate 5. Grants Pass is 2 miles south on Interstate 5.) Drinking water is not available.

  • Camping

    There is a primitive BLM campground approximately 0.5 mile from the Rogue River Ranch. There are no fees.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is allowed in the Rogue River following Oregon state regulations.

  • Hiking

    A strenuous hike along the historic Rogue River or the Mule Creek Canyon Trail offers visitors an invigorating challenge. Wildlife observers will want to look for elk, deer, and wild turkeys. Black bears also inhabit the area.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is allowed seasonally and according to Oregon regulations in the lands around the byway.

  • Water Sports

    Parts of the nearby Rogue River offer water recreation opportunities.

Seasonality/Weather

This site is extremely remote, with no visitor services. Travelers should be well prepared for a long trip on mostly one-lane dirt roads, which are well maintained and passable by passenger vehicles. Access to the area is often impossible during the winter months because of snow accumulations. The best time of year to visit the site is from May-September.

Directions

Driving

From Grants Pass, Oregon take I-5 north to the Merlin exit. The byway begins as you exit the freeway and travel the Merlin-Galice Road west. Four miles into the route you will travel through the town of Merlin.

From Galice, head north on Galice Road for eight miles to the Grave Creek Bridge. The byway route starts here; follow the back country byway signs, or the following directions: Cross the Grave Creek Bridge and bear left uphill on paved BLM Road #34-8-1 for five miles. At the junction with Whisky Creek Road (#33-8-26), bear right and continue on #34-8-1 (sign reads "Marial 28 Miles") for 3 miles. At the junction with BLM Road #33-8-13 (on the right), bear left and continue on #34-8-1 for eight miles. At the junction with BLM Road #32-8-31, bear left and continue on a paved road for five miles to the junction with BLM Road #32-8-9.2. Bear left and continue on #32-8-31 for one mile to Anaktuvuk Saddle Junction. Turn left on BLM road #32-9-14.2 for three miles to Marble Gap Junction. Continue ahead (pavement will end) for another thee miles to Fourmile Saddle junction. Bear left and stay on #32-9-14.2 for another nine miles to the Rogue River Ranch.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(541) 618-2200

Links