Hellgate Canyon

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Shan Creek to Onion Mountain

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Lower River Road

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Galice To Grave Creek

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From Merlin, take Galice Rd. 5.0 miles to a gravel pullout on the right, 0.3 miles past the Hog Creek river access area. There is a sign here that says “Galice-Hellgate – National Back Country Byway”. Bird this area thoroughly. Next, travel 0.9 miles farther west, past the Hellgate Canyon Overlook, and look for a power line access road on the right. This area can be walked and is pretty birdy. Another 0.3 miles west, a wide parking area just before the Hellgate bridge is good, as is Stratton Creek Rd. on the north side of the highway at the bridge.

Hellgate Recreation Area brochure:



Habitat and Birds

Steep, rocky cliffs border the Rogue River along this route. River sand flats and calm pools can harbor water birds. Mixed conifers and hardwoods are joined by oak savannah and oak woodlands along the way. Some birds you might see along this route are Double-crested Cormorant, Common Merganser, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Wild Turkey, Mountain Quail, Spotted Sandpiper, Peregrine Falcon, N. Pygmy-Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Western Wood-Pewee, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Bewick’s Wren, Winter Wren, American Dipper, both kinglets, Townsend’s Solitaire, Hermit Thrush, Western Bluebird, Wrentit, 7-8 species of warbler including Hermit, California Towhee, and Lesser Goldfinch. Source: OFO Publication No. 19, Guide to Birds of the Rogue Valley, Massey& Vroman.