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Glacier N.P. & Pacific Northwest

by Kathy 13. December 2010 12:48

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Oregon—Prospect OHV Trail System

Our next stop was the Prospect OHV Trail System in southern Oregon, about an hour northeast of the city of Medford.  The trail system covers around 200 miles through a portion of the Rogue River National Forest and is shared by motorcyclists, quad riders, off-road drivers, bicyclists, hikers, horse-back riders, and anyone else who wants to enjoy the forest and river.

Trail maps are available at the Prospect Ranger Station. The ranger on duty provided us with maps, recommended a good campground next to the river, and gave Genevieve and Sebastian water containers and activity booklets.   After our experience yesterday at John’s Peak OHV, we were relieved to find a ranger who not only seemed to care for the forest land but also to genuinely welcome a dirt biking family.

We camped in the River Bridge Campground, next to the beautiful Rogue River.

From the campground, we could see a small bridge that crossed the river past some shallow rapids:

Up river, the water was very calm—a bit chilly for swimming, but we all took a teeth-chattering dip anyway.

Our campground was a peaceful sanctuary, with pines towering over us.

Many of the pines had streams of dried sap that created natural “bark art”:

No off-road vehicles were allowed inside the campground, so we started each morning by pushing our motorcycles through the campground to the entrance. Genevieve and Sebastian led the way:

For our first ride at Prospect, we headed to a small section of trails called the Woodruff Play Area. We had so much fun there that we ended up spending almost all of our ride-time at this dirt biker’s playground.

The Woodruff Play Area was about six miles from our campground. There were two alternative routes to get there, and we tried them both on different days.

One route involved long stretches of wide road, with some sandy quad tracks that wound through the forest near the end.

The road:

The sandy quad trails gave Genevieve and Sebastian practice on keeping their speed up through deep-sand corners and up hills.

Sebastian, motoring through some deep sand:

Genevieve, after navigating a short uphill with some tricky ruts:

Ben and Sebastian:

This intersection marked the outer edge of the Woodruff Play Area:

The second route to the play area consisted of a narrow dirt road that tracked along in a fairly straight line.

Genevieve, on the road:


Sebastian and Ben:

The Woodruff Play Area had a set of one-way trails that connected to an outer ring—about six miles total. Here is a map:

The first trail we chose was “the Boring Trail” (the red-dotted line above) which was surely named by someone who appreciated irony.

Here is Genevieve at the entrance:


The trail curved and swooped, with high berms for fast (and fun) cornering. Ben and Sebastian nicknamed it “the Railing Trail” because Sebastian learned how to carry his speed so that he could fly around the corners.

Genevieve gave it a big “thumbs up.”

The Boring Trail was about a mile long. There were no technical challenges, just a rollicking good time. We made a 2.3 mile loop by connecting with The Maze (the skinny green squiggle on the above map), which was a one-way trail coming back in the other direction.


The Maze was a bit more technical because of some deep-sand sections, including one up-hill that tried to eat Genevieve’s rear tire:

(As usual, the photo above doesn’t capture the true steepness of the hill.)

This hill provided a challenge for Genevieve, over and over. Here’s another view, looking down:

At one point, I even spent about 20 minutes trying to create an easier path for Genevieve by scraping away a thick layer of sand with a large piece of bark all of the way up the hill. (She made it up about 4/5 of the way that time!)

But Genevieve didn’t give up. I am pleased to say that by the end of our riding time at Prospect, she could sail right up that hill with speed and confidence.

At the top:

I am so proud of her tenacious spirit:

Genevieve, on another part of the Maze trail:

The third interior trail within the Woodruff Play Area was called “The Learner’s Loop” (the purple loop in the above trail map), which was another twisting trail that put huge smiles on our faces.



Sebastian:



Genevieve:


We only saw a few other people today—a family on a quad. However, the mosquitoes were out in full force. At our rest stops, Genevieve and Sebastian took turns slapping mosquitoes off each other.

Sebastian, about to replenish his energy supply:

We rode about 25 miles today. Leaving the Play Area, I was riding behind Sebastian when he launched his bike off the side of a hill after losing control on a deep-sand climb. Situations like these give me a moment of what I call “mama trauma.”

In this instance, Sebastian let go of his bike as it was sailing off the trail, so he didn’t join his bike at the bottom of the hill. As he was scrambling to rise out of the sand, he turned to me and exclaimed, “I hit the eject button, Mom, just like you told me to!”

Riding back to the campground behind Sebastian, Genevieve and Ben, I felt the connection of our energy in one fluid line, in sync with all that was around us. Time stood still, and I was flooded with a feeling of pure and complete contentment. That moment . . . that place . . . was exactly where I wanted to be.

Pushing the bikes back to our campsite:

Besides riding on the trails, we had a lot of fun at Prospect—fishing, swimming and enjoying the campground.

Here is Sebastian, trying his hand at fishing:


Did I mention how FREEZING COLD the water was, even in August? Brrrrrrrr. Of course, that didn’t stop the kids!

Sebastian and Genevieve, getting their feet wet:

They enticed Ben to go in deeper:


The kids scooped out the thick gloppy “sand” to made small pits. Here is Sebastian:

Then Sebastian inspired us all by swimming from the sand bar to the riverbank:


Genevieve braved the icy water to join him:

I don’t usually go swimming, and certainly not in cold water. But just to show that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, I surprised the children (and perhaps myself) by swimming after Sebastian back to the sand bar:

Genevieve and I thawed our limbs back in the RV, playing a game of dominoes together:

Sebastian helped Ben build a toasty fire:

The two sat by the flames, and I caught bits and pieces of some deep conversations, including one that started, “Dad, what is energy?”

After dinner, the children practiced the art of roasting marshmallows “just right”. Then they sandwiched their creations between graham crackers—yum!


Our time here at Prospect had been filled with hoots of laughter, and we definitely will make our way back here some day. The large trail map showed enticing intermediate and advanced trails that squiggled through some mountains along the western portion of the riding area. Yep, we can hear those trails calling to us already.


Additional Information About Prospect OHV:

The Prospect OHV Trail System is open from July 1 through October 15.

The Woodruff Play Area is open from June 15 through November 30.

Temporary Closures: Sometimes the trails can be temporarily closed due to logging, elk hunting season, trail maintenance, or other activities. Contact the Prospect Ranger District regarding possible closures if you plan to visit: (541) 560-3400.

Link to Prospect Ranger District site. 

Link to Directions and the Oregon OHV Association info on Prospect OHV. 

Link to Map of Prospect Trails. 

Link to Map for the Woodruff Play Area. 

Campground: We camped in the River Bridge Campground, right next to the river. The cost was $8 per night. The campground was shaded with beautiful tall trees, and the river had sand bars and plenty of space along the bank to relax. 


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<< Oregon—John’s Peak OHV Area | Oregon—Winom-Frazier OHV Trail System >>

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Places We’ve Been, w/Quick Links

Bhutan
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Bolivia
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Canada
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   Boya Lake Prov. Park, BC
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China
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Costa Rica
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France
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Ecuador
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India
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Mexico
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Namibia
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Peru
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Portugal
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Spain
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United States National Parks
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   Bandelier National Monument, NM
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   Civil Rights Memorial, AL
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   Devil’s Tower National Monument, WY
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   Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
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   Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
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   Montezuma's Castle Nat'l Monument, AZ
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   Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Nat'l Hist Pk, HI
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   San Antonio Missions Nat'l Hist. Park, TX
   Tuzigoot National Monument, AZ
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   Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK
   Wright Brothers National Memorial in NC
   Yellowstone National Park, WY
   Yosemite National Park, CA

United States, Cities and Places
   The Alamo, TX
   Alaska Wildlife Conservation Cntr.
   Alpine Loop in CO
   Anchorage, AK
   Antares Junction, AZ
   Arctic Circle, AK
   Barrel Oak Winery in VA
   Biloxi, MS
   Bottle Tree Farm in CA
   Calico Ghost Town, CA
   Canfield Mountain Trail System, ID
   Cape St. Vincent, NY
   Carson City, NV
   Carter Caves State Park in KY
   Chappie-Shasta OHV Area, CA
   Child's Glacier, AK
   Circle B Chuckwagon Show in SD
   City Museum in MO
   Cody, WY
   Corn Palace in SD
   Crazy Horse Memorial in SD
   Custer State Park, SD
   Dalton Highway, AK
   Dinosaur Tracks in AZ
   Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC
   Dry Falls (Sun Lakes-Dry Falls), WA
   Fairbanks, AK
   Front Royal, VA
   Gallup, NM
   Goffs, CA
   Grand Canyon Caves, AZ
   Grand Canyon Skywalk, AZ
   Grave Digger Monster Truck in NC
   Great Salt Lake, UT
   Hackberry General Store in AZ
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   Holbrook, AZ
   Hole in the Rock, UT
   Homer, AK
   Honey Island Swamp Tour in LA
   Hoover Dam, NV
   Hyder, AK
   Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. in AZ
   John’s Peak OHV Area, OR
   Kailua-Kona, HI
   Keepers of the Wild Nature Park in AZ
   Kennecott, AK
   Kennecott Copper Mine in UT
   Kingman, AZ
   Lake Havasu, AZ
   Lake Tahoe, NV
   Las Vegas, NV (winter 2010)
   Little Brown Church in IA
   London Bridge in AZ
   Loneliest Road in America, Hwy. 50, NV
   Los Angeles, CA
   Lost Colony Show on Roanoke Isl., NC
   Lowe’s Speedway in NC
   Mardi Gras World in LA
   Mark Twain Museum in MO
   Meteor Crater, AZ
   Million Dollar Highway, CO
   Minnesota Zoo
   Mitchell, SD
   Moab, UT
   Moab, UT (dirt biking)
   Montgomery, AL
   Montpelier, ID
   Navajo Nation, AZ
   Needles, CA
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   New Orleans, LA
   Niagara Falls 
   North Pole, AK
   Oatman, AZ
   Old Faithful Geyser in WY
   Omak Stampede, WA
   Painted Desert, AZ
   Park City, UT (summer)
   Plymouth, NC
   Portage Valley, AK
   Portland, OR
   Prospect OHV Trail System, OR
   Resaca, GA
   Riverside State Park, WA
   Rock City in TN
   Rosa Parks Library and Museum in AL
   Roswell, NM
   Russian River, AK
   Salt Lake City, UT
   San Antonio, TX
   San Diego, CA
   San Juan Islands, WA
   San Francisco, CA
   Santa Catalina Island, CA
   Seattle, WA
   Sedona, AZ
   Shoe Tree in CA
   Shoe Tree in NV
   Silverton, CO
   Sonora, TX
   St. Louis, MO
   St. Paul, MN
   Talkeetna, AK
   Telluride, CO
   Route 66
   Twin Knobs Recreation Area in KY
   Virginia Beach, VA
   Washington D.C.
   Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park in IL
   Williamsburg, VA
   Winom Frazier OHV Area, OR
   Winslow, AZ
   Zion National Park, UT

Planning Our Adventures

For us, each journey begins with the initial heart pangs to venture to a certain part of the world. Then the ideas start coming together . . . ahh, the possibilities . . . and the dream evolves gradually into an actual plan. But, oh, the joy of the dream!  Click here to learn more about how we plan and prepare for our journeys.

Where Are We Now?

Click here to discover where we are now, as well as our uncoming travel plans.


Words for the Heart

“. . . and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin