Travel east on 299 to the 96 exit at Willow Creek. Turn north on 96 to Somes Bar.Commercial air is available into Redding (approx. 160 miles to Somes Bar) or Arcata (approx. 90miles to Somes Bar). An excellent map of the area is available from the local ranger station inSomes Bar. Ask for "Klamath National Forest, Forest Region 5" map.
Option A -
From Oregon take I-5 south to Ashland (fill your gas tank here). And then into California, take exit 786 going to Hwy 96, this is just after the Hornbrook exit (this exit is also a rest area!)– the exit is located somewhat in a canyon before you start going up hill – (if you miss this exit head towards Yreka and just turn around)
Once off the off ramp stay right and the Klamath river will be on your left, from here go until you get to the town of Happy Camp, CA. Just before entering Happy Camp, you’ll see a card-lock Gas station on your left. (By the way there are a lot of cops on this HWY and some of these communities are speed traps.) This is a great place top off your gas tank. Once back on Hwy 96 passing through Happy Camp, drive another 45 minutes or so until you get to Somes Bar. In Somes Bar drive until you pass the Somes Bar General store (great little store to get some supply), about a 1/4 mile past the store you’ll see the turn-off for the Salmon River Rd.
Take a left onto the Salmon River Rd and follow until you get to Nordheimer Campground.
CAUTION! This is a narrow, winding road!! Take your time, there are a lot of blind corners!
Once you get to Nordheimer campground, just pass it and go over the Nordheimer creek bridge, immediately following the bridge on the left hand side you’ll see a gate – ENTER and you’ll have made it. Cheers.
Option B -
From Oregon take I-5 south to Ashland (fill your gas tank here). Take Hwy.199 south (or west) about 40 miles to O'Brien. From O'Brien there is a left turn that goes over the mountain to Happy Camp (29 miles). When you reach Hwy. 96 in Happy Camp, turn right and you'll go about 41 miles to Somes Bar (a store on your right). The Salmon River road as described above is another 1/4 mile on your left (don't cross the bridge). Travel time from Grants Pass to Somes Bar is about 2-1/2 hours.
Option C -
From Oregon take I-5 south to Ashland (fill your gas tank here). Get off the second or third Yreka exit, take a left onto Hwy 3 and follow it out of town to Etna. Once in the town of Etna turn right onto the Main Street and follow the Etna Rd up to the Salmon Mtn. Pass. You will go through Sawyers Bar and the small township of the Forks of the Salmon; there the road will take a sharp right (for a landmark you will pass a school just past the right turn). Approximately 3 miles past the Forks you will cross the Salmon River, shortly thereafter you’ll see Nordheimer Campground on your right. Turn into the campground and take a left into the group-site area.
Driving Times and Distances
• Redding 145mi / 3 hr
• San Francisco 373mi / 6.5 hr
• Seattle 576mi / 9 hr
• Sacramento 300mi / 5.5 hr
• Los Angeles 694mi / 10.5 hr
• Reno 438mi / 6.75 hr
• Portland 427mi / 6.5 hr
• Ashland 131 / 2.5 hr
• Eugene 310 / 5.5 hr
AIRPORTS: Commercial…Eugene, Medford, Eureka & Redding
Private…Eureka & Happy Camp
Pre and Post Trip Accommodations and Camping;
Pre and Post trip accommodations are not included in your trip price.
Orleans Mining Company (Motel) (530) 627-3213
Otter Bar Lodge, Forks of Salmon (530) 462-4772
Elk Creek Campground, Happy Camp (530) 493-2208
Oak Bottom Campground, 2 mi. east of Somes Bar on Salmon River Road
Activities and Attractions
The Pacific Crest Trail runs through 120 miles of the Klamath National Forest and Somes Bar is surrounded by 3 wilderness areas. Please check with the Ranger stations listed below for more information about hiking, camping and wilderness packing.
Happy Camp Ranger Station (530) 493-2243.
Orleans Ranger District (530) 627-3291.
Siskiyou County Visitor’s Bureau (530) 926-3850 www.visitsiskiyou.org