Siskiyou CountyDate reviewed - 8/05
Fun . . . . . . . . 5
Difficulty . . . . .EXTREMELY HIGH
Traffic . . . . . . None to Light
Driveways . . . .None
Condition . . . . Very Poor to Good
Length . . . . . .47 miles
After failing to find the entrance to Sawyers Bar in Etna I continued south to Cecilville Rd. At first I thought I had found heaven; the first 15 miles were under a pavement repair construction zone but in pretty good shape for all of that (watch out for some loose gravel at the newer patches), and the next 15 miles were in great shape. The road winds its way up the side of a mountain and then back down, but it doesn't change elevation too quickly so the corners aren't all that tight (there are the occasional switchbacks). All in all the first 30 miles are great fun and you can keep up a fairly high speed the whole time.
Then you drive through the town of Cecilville and things take a turn for the worse. The town itself is very small but the road changes from a nicely paved and maintained two-lane highway to a narrow, single-lane, barely maintained winding piece of asphalt that runs along a very narrow and winding river valley. This is the most dangerous and demanding road I have ever driven; there were lots of rocks on the road, no guard-rails, reflector, or any safety devices of any kind. I would not recommend driving this road at night.
After Mathers campground the conditions get slightly better and you can pick up your speed a little but this is still far from a high-speed road. One wrong move could send you over the edge of a very steep cliff and if you survived to the riverbed several hundred feet below it would probably be a very long time before you were found.
The road eventually settles down closer to the bottom of the valley so the danger being seriously hurt should you depart the roadway is lessened. You will follow the course of the river valley for several miles with very little elevation changes and some sections with slightly better sight lines before coming to an intersection. At the intersection you can either head back east on Sawyers Bar Rd. or continue west on Salmon River Rd.- Back to Region
Red: Cecilville Rd.
Blue: Salmon River Rd.
Purple: Sawyers Bar Rd.
Blue - well maintained 2-lane road; Red - VERY dangerous.
Detail of above.