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Soda Mountain Road closed starting July 6

A hiker takes in the view from Hobart Bluff. Soda Mountain Road, which leads to the Hobart Bluff trailhead, will be closed on weekdays for 3-4 weeks in July. [Photo by Lee Juillerat]

Starting July 6, Soda Mountain Road will be closed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday while the Bureau of Land Management installs culverts and performs road improvements, according to a press release from the BLM Medford District.

Thirty culverts will be replaced, at 2-3 culverts a day, and the closure is estimated to take 3-4 weeks. Residents and visitors will be able to access the road between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Soda Mountain Road provides access from Highway 66 to Hobart Bluff and the Pacific Crest Trail in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, as well as the Soda Mountain Wilderness and Skookum Creek Road.

The Hobart Bluff Trailhead will be open weekends from 5 p.m. Friday until 8 a.m. Monday throughout the project.

"This work will improve the quality of Soda Mountain Road, making it easier and safer for residents and visitors to travel," Joel Brumm, assistant monument manager, said in the release. "In addition, this work helps restore critical road infrastructure for fire response."

For questions about the project, call BLM at 541-618-2200.

BLM photo | The Butte Fork bridge spans the Butte Fork of the Applegate River in the Red Buttes Wilderness.
Trail bridge closed in Red Buttes Wilderness

The Butte Fork bridge on Trail 957 in the Red Buttes Wilderness Area is closed due to safety concerns, according to a post Wednesday on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Facebook page.

The bridge is about three-fourths of a mile from the Shoofly Trailhead above Applegate Lake, and 2.5 miles from the Horse Camp Trailhead just southeast of where the 954 and 957 trails intersect.

The 954 trail accessing other parts of the Red Buttes Wilderness is not impacted by the bridge closure. If you hike in from the Horse Camp Trailhead and head west, you will encounter the bridge and the closure, the post said.

"This is a big bridge that spans 56 feet high above the Butte Fork of the Applegate River,“ the post said. ”The native log beams have extensive decay from the beginning of the bridge to the mid-span, and the bridge is sagging and may be on the verge of collapse.

Hikers are advised to not cross the bridge. The Forest Service is evaluating its next steps, the post said.

Mountain of the Rogue closed due to fire

As a result of the North River Road fire, the Mountain of the Rogue Recreation Area has been closed until further notice, according to a news release from the BLM Medford District.

All uses, including mountain biking, hunting and camping, are prohibited during the closure.

BLM is working to stabilize the area and create safe conditions for public access. The primary concerns are snag hazards, rolling debris and trail conditions, the release said.

Built in 2015 on BLM land, Mountain of the Rogue is a mountain bike trail system located along North River Road south of the town of Rogue River.