Bear Camp Road, which traverses the Siskiyou Mountains between the remote Rogue River outposts of Galice and Agness, was expected to be blanketed this morning with up to 6 inches of snow, leading federal land managers to recommend motorists steer clear of the road for now.
The one-lane, paved road with turnouts opened last week after low snow levels melted and allowed for clear passage, according to the Bureau of Land Management.
However, a storm that moved into the region Tuesday was expected to drop 3 to 6 inches of snow along the Siskiyous, possibly leaving the road impassable heading into the Memorial Day weekend.
BLM's Medford District spokesman Jim Whittington said motorists ought to take great precautions when traveling that route or avoid it for the next few days.
"The National Weather Service made that recommendation, and we want to pass it along," Whittington said. "The main message here is be cautious when you head up there. This is just another way of saying that."
Anyone who travels Bear Camp Road during the spring and fall should be prepared to carry extra food, water and warm clothing. Also, make sure someone not traveling with you knows your travel plans and expected arrival and return times.
Bear Camp Road was the route taken by the Kim family of San Francisco during a November 2006 snowstorm. The family was stranded for nearly a week, and James Kim, who set out on foot to find help, died from hypothermia. His wife and two children were rescued.
The road sees regular use from people traveling between the Rogue Valley and Gold Beach or Agness, a fishing burg 27 river miles from the ocean.
Motorists looking to traverse the Southern Oregon mountains between Interstate 5 and the coast are urged to take Highway 42 from Myrtle Creek to Coos County or Highway 199 from Grants Pass to Highway 101 south of Brookings.
Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or email@example.com.