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State of Jefferson Scenic Byway

Basics
Length:
108 miles (173 km)
Time:
Two hours, 40 minutes non stop.
Fees:
Six Forest Service Campgrounds have fee boxes.

Description

Northern California is a completely different state than southern California, as the State of Jefferson Scenic Byway demonstrates through its diverse and uncrowded forest landscapes and its rich cultural history. The Native American, logging, mining, and fishing communities along the winding Klamath River experienced the rugged river canyon existence in the spirit of independence.

So when the California lawmakers in the south ignored essential maintenance on their roads, the more outspoken citizens of the region seceded on November 27, 1941, proclaiming themselves the State of Jefferson, population 11,707. The secession blocked off roads at gunpoint every Thursday until early December, when the attack at Pearl Harbor put an abrupt end to the secession movement.

Today, the State of Jefferson Scenic Byway runs along the Klamath, from Yreka's high desert climate in the east to the lush Siskiyou and Coastal Mountain forests closer to the coast. The byway sports numerous locations to launch your raft or kayak, with both whitewater sections to challenge experienced boaters and quieter sections for visitors to swim and explore. Visit abandoned mining camps, former colonies of Chinese immigrants and historic sites in the towns that thrived during the California Gold Rush. Learn the local legends born from the American settlers and the Shasta and Karuk Indians that still share this region. Stop at a pullout to search for the nests of bald eagles and herons, or perhaps to catch a fish.

With its opportunities for adventure in its unspoiled forests and friendly communities, the State of Jefferson Scenic Highway goes miles to capture the natural, independent spirit of northern California.

Points of Interest

Points of Interest Along The Way

Klamath National Forest - California (CA)

The landscape of Klamath National Forest is very diverse. Its terrain ranges from high desert to lush rain forest. The Klamath Mountains are the oldest of the Pacific coastal mountains, dating back 500 million years. These mountains have ridges of various sizes that have been deeply cut throughout time by moving rivers.

Because of the abundance of forested land and water, the Klamath National Forest is home to a wide diversity of animal and plant species. Almost 400 species of wildlife call the Klamath home,including 100 species of mammals and 237 bird species.

The forest offers great opportunities for hiking, biking,camping, and fishing.

Klamath National Forest - California (OR)

The landscape of Klamath National Forest is very diverse. Its terrain ranges from high desert to lush rain forest. The Klamath Mountains are the oldest of the Pacific coastal mountains, dating back 500 million years. These mountains have ridges of various sizes that have been deeply cut throughout time by moving rivers.

Because of the abundance of forested land and water, the Klamath National Forest is home to a wide diversity of animal and plant species. Almost 400 species of wildlife call the Klamath home, including 100 species of mammals and 237 bird species.

The forest offers great opportunities for hiking, biking,camping, and fishing.

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forests (CA)

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is home to incredible wild and scenic rivers, isolated wildernesses, outstanding fisheries and wildlife resources, and landscapes of mountains, meadows, streams, and lakes.

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forests (OR)

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is home to incredible wild and scenic rivers, isolated wildernesses, outstanding fisheries and wildlife resources, and landscapes of mountains, meadows, streams, and lakes.

Siskiyou National Forest - California (CA)

The Siskiyou is the most floristically diverse National Forest in the country.

Siskiyou National Forest - California (OR)

The Siskiyou is the most floristically diverse National Forest in the country.

Six Rivers National Forest (CA)

The forest is best known for its valued timber, dispersed recreation, and outstanding anadromous fishing. Whitewater rafting and kayaking provide visitors with exciting water recreation opportunities.

Six Rivers National Forest (OR)

The forest is best known for its valued timber, dispersed recreation, and outstanding anadromous fishing. Whitewater rafting and kayaking provide visitors with exciting water recreation opportunities.

Details

Length:
108 miles (173 km)
Time:
Two hours, 40 minutes non stop.
Main Roads:
CA-96 W
Fees:
Six Forest Service Campgrounds have fee boxes.

Map + Directions

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