Salmon River Road

Salmon River Road: You can’t be scared of steep narrow roads

Located in Siskiyou County, in the northernmost part of the U.S. state of California, Salmon River Road (part of the Highway 93) is a narrow road through a dramatic river canyon.

Tucked away in the Six Rivers National Forest, the road is paved but very narrow bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters (many hundreds of feet) unprotected by guardrails. It runs parallel to Salmon River. Not for the faint of heart. The California Salmon's proximity to the Pacific Ocean makes it susceptible to quick changes in weather and temperature. Cold rain (and even snow) frequently occur in April and early May.

The road is 27.68km (17.2 miles) long, running from Somes Bar towards Forks of Salmon. There are some narrow sections -scarcely wide enough for two cars- where if two vehicles have to pass each other, one might have to reverse for some kilometers of winding narrow road to get to a place wide enough to pass. It shouldn’t be attempted by those who don't know how to reverse. There is little room for error on this road.

This road tests the skill, and courage, of any driver. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of landslides. It’s a one lane road with two way traffic: drive slowly, pull over for oncoming traffic and use extreme caution. You cannot be scared of steep narrow roads though. It’s incredibly disorienting to look over the edge, or even just to see the valleys a couple thousand feet below you. Rockslides are very common, with huge drops off.  The road is not suitable for RVs of any size.

 

 

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