Directions to Sandy Bar Ranch
Take route 96 into Orleans from highway 299 (via Arcata or Redding) Turn west into Ishi Pishi Road at the gas station, and continue past the ranger station 3/4 miles to Sandy Bar Ranch, on the right side of the road.
From the San Francisco Bay Area - You can take either 101 North to Arcata, or I-5 North to Redding. 101 is a more scenic route, taking you through California's Wine Country. If you are traveling form south of San Francisco then I-5 would be faster as you can avoid driving through SF.
Shortcuts, Scenic Byways and Nearby Destinations
Orleans is off the beaten path, but there are a number of ways to get here and several routes to connect the Klamath region with other areas of interest in Northern California and Southern Oregon:
The Redwood Coast
Located directly east of Orleans as the crow flies, the Redwood Coast includes hundreds of miles of dramatic coastline and hiking trails. It's a beautiful area, but also an international attraction, so route 101 can be a busy parade of RV's and motor homes in the summer months ( June - August) which is also when the fog sets in, making the weather a bit chilly (coastal dwellers love to come inland during these months to escape the crowds and fog). The Bald Hills Road connects the Klamath River, with the Redwood Coast via a gorgeous drive through a section of Redwood National Park that few visitors know, including grassy meadows and, sweeping views of the ocean. If you drive it in Spring you may be lucky enough to catch the lupines in bloom. This one of our favorite drives and a great way to see the redwoods and also get off the beaten path, we recommend it to customers often. Bald Hills Rd. is mostly dirt, and a bit bumpy at the summit, but it's well maintained and passable by 2-wheel drive vehicles. Call us or check with the Redwood national Park service for current road conditions.
Home of the world class Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland is a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from Sandy Bar Ranch, via route 96, a beautiful route that takes you through the Klamath River canyon.
Jefferson Scenic Byway over the Siskiyou Mountains
<small?The Grayback - Happy Camp road connects the town of Cave Junction in Southern Oregon with the town of Happy Camp on the Klamath River, 45 miles north of Orleans. It's a beautiful drive through the Siskiyou high country and a great shortcut, to or from I-5 in Southern Oregon. Closed in winter due to snow.
The Salmon River
With it's headwaters in three of California's largest Wilderness areas - the Marble Mountains, the Russian and the Trinity Wilderness; the Salmon is one of the most pristine rivers in the lower 48. The windy Salmon River Road is the opposite of a shortcut, but if you have the time you'll see some beautiful country.
Planning Your Trip
Things to Bring
Summer - Dress for hot, sunny days and cool nights. A brimmed hat and a water bottle are handy. Swim wear and beach towels are a must for swimming, and some folks like to bring their own shade.
Spring & Fall can range from warm and sunny to cool and wet, so dress accordingly.
A flashlight is useful for getting around the ranch at night. Bringsturdy shoes if you plan on hiking. Maps of the area can be purchased at the Orleans Ranger Station, 3/4 mile down the road.
Food - Orleans has a small store with very basic fare - canned goods, dairy, beverages, snacks, some fresh produce etc. If you're driving route 101 from the south then Arcata is the last town to stock up at, coming from the north it would be Ashland, and if you're driving 299 west from route 5 then Weaverville has a supermarket. (Please note: In order to conserve water during the current drought we are not growing extra produce for sale. We do have fresh goats milk and a limited quantity of fresh eggs and goat milk cheeses for sale.)
Books to Read
The Klamath is a truly unique region and you can get a lot more from your trip if you do a bit of reading ahead of time. Here are a few of our favorite books:
The Klamath Knot, by David Raines Wallace Named one of the twentieth century's best nonfiction books by the San Francisco Chronicle, The Klamath Knot, is a personal vision of wilderness in the Klamath Mountains of northwest California and southwest Oregon, seen through the lens of "evolutionary mythology." Wallace uses his explorations of the diverse ecosystems in this region to ponder the role of evolution and myth in our culture.
In the Land of the Grasshopper Song, This story is told by Mary Ellicot Arnold and Mabel Reed of their visit to this region in 1908 has become a classic. Read this and you'll be impressed by how much this area has retained its wildness and unique character in the 100 years that have passed.
Conifer Country - The Klamath Mountains have more conifer diversity than anywhere else in the world' hosting 35 different species. Michael Kauffman tells the story of how this came to be in this wonderful combination field/ hiking guide. The book starts with an explanation of what makes this part of the world so unique, it's peculiar mix of geology, topography, climate and history. It then goes on to profile each of the 35 Klamath conifer species, and best of all, guides you to specific trails where you can see them. Even better, you can access his website to download more detailed notes on each hike. Highly recommended for the curious naturalist.