Exploring the South Fork Coquille River Canyon
Sunday 22 July 2012 — Category: Outings
four-day, 800-mile photo outing to the southern coast of Oregon (south of Bandon) in May 2012, I took about 2,000 pictures. During my second day out, I spent the morning exploring the first 33 river miles of the wild and scenic Rogue River — from its mouth at Gold Beach on the Pacific, upstream past the Illinois River, Agness, and Illahe, as far as Foster Bar. You can find these photos in the Rogue River 2012 photo album.
Having completed that part of the day’s outing by around 9:30, I continued on National Forest Road 33 (Agness-Powers Road), in a generally-northern direction, up over the top of Agness Pass (elevation around 2,400 feet). From there I descended into Rock Creek canyon, until I reached the confluence of Rock Creek and the South Fork Coquille River.
At this point I was planning on taking National Forest Road 3348 (also known as the Glendale-Powers road) east to visit Coquille River Falls and Upper Coquille River Falls, as well as Hanging Rock, but it wasn’t meant to be. The road was closed due to a washout (as you can see in the photo to the right), so I continued north on NF Road 33 all the way to the village of Powers.
On the way back, took a very narrow, winding mountain road (NF Road 3358) towards the Big Tree Observation Site. I wasn’t even halfway there before I encountered a landslide which had completely blocked the road (see photo 7)! Gosh! This was surely my unlucky day for exploring remote Oregon backroads! With some difficulty, I turned around and went to the Myrtle Grove Campround, about 9 miles south of Powers, to eat my picnic by the river. I got some really nice shots in this area.
After lunch I stopped at Elk Creek Falls, just over six miles south of Powers, and then hiked for a bit more than an hour — gaining about 500 feet in elevation — to the Big Tree Observation Site, with its variety of ancient, giant conifers, including the world’s largest Port-Orford cedar. It was challenging to take pictures here, for a number of reasons: these old trees are VERY tall; you can’t get a good view of them because they are obscuring each other; you are quite close to them when trying to take photos.
Thus ended my exploration of the South Fork Coquille River canyon. I took 90 pictures in this area, which I have narrowed down to the best 26 in the Coquille River South 2012 photo album, the fifth of numerous albums from my trip.
For a complete list of all the blog entries and photo albums resulting from my trip to the Southern Oregon Coast, be sure to check out the May 2012 Southern Oregon Coast Photo Outing Recap