The China Ditch is over one-hundred years old, but it is still clearly visible on the hillsides. A trip to the ditch can help to re-live the history of the golden years of western mining. The BLM, along with the Umpqua National Forest have set aside some 11 miles of the ditch for preservation. The BLM maintains a 4000 foot section of the ditch as a trail where the public can experience the history of Oregon's mining days. The self-guided driving tour is yet another way of getting to know the history of the China Ditch. Along the tour are informative signs that explain the history of the ditch. Also, there are areas on the driving tour where artifacts of the past are clearly visible, such as the hydraulic piping used to transport water down the steep hillsides. At the end of the loop you reach the town of Myrtle Creek. There, you can try your luck at panning in the scenic and gold-laden South Umpqua River. The driving loop is accessible by most vehicles depending on weather conditions. Be sure to have your camera in hand, because there may be numerous wildlife photo opportunities.
From Interstate 5, South of Roseburg, Oregon take exit #108 into the town of Myrtle Creek. Travel east on County road 15 following the signs for 8.7 miles. This will be 0.9 miles past the junction with County road 149 (Slide Creek). The 28.0, 14.1 and 15.1 roads form the 10.5 mile China Ditch loop.
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