Cow Creek Back Country Byway
Roseburg District | OR
Season Dates: 1/1 - 12/31
Island Creek Day Use Area along the Cow Creek Byway remains open year round. The Byway is closed to vehicles between Union Creek and Middle Creek in the wet season (generally October through April) of 2013/14. Starting in the dry season (generally May through September) of 2014, that closure is no longer in place. Check here for closure information or call our district office. The Cow Creek route is a 45 mile long BLM Back Country Byway and Oregon State Tour Route. The rustic two lane road connects the towns of Riddle and Glendale while paralleling Cow Creek. The railroad is still active and follows the original Oregon and California Railroad Company grade built in 1869. Many historic railroad structures can still be seen along the route. South of the Recreational Gold Panning Area you will find the historic town site of West Fork. Stay alert -- logging trucks abound. Spring is the best time for a scenic drive with an abundance of wildflowers. Summer finds visitors wading, fishing, and panning for gold. Enjoy glorious fall foliage while elusive salmon spawn in the creek. At the Recreational Gold Panning Area thousands of feet of streambed are open for public gold panning. Remaining streambed is either privately owned or reserved mining claims. People who use wheelchairs will find one accessible picnic table with great creek views and an accessible vault toilet at the Island Creek Day Use Area.
From the north, take Exit 103 (Riddle) and head west. The byway begins in approximately 5 miles. From the south, take Exit 80 (Glendale) and follow county road 263 to county road 39 and finally county road 164, which becomes the Cow Creek Road.