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BLM warns against driving Bear Camp Road

 Posted: 12:10 PM May 21, 2013

The Bear Camp Road traversing the Siskiyou Mountains between the Rogue River outposts of Galice and Agness is expected to get up to 6 inches of snow tonight, leading federal land managers to recommend motorists steer clear of the road for now.

The one-lane paved road with turnouts opened last week after low snow levels melted, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

However, a storm moving into the region today and Wednesday is expected to drop 3 inches to 6 inches of snow along the Siskiyous, possibly leaving the road not passable heading into the Memorial Day weekend.

BLM's Medford District spokesman Jim Whittington said this morning that motorists ought to take great precaution when traveling that route or avoid it for the next few days.

"The National Weather Service made that recommendation and we want to pass it along," Whittington said this morning. "The main message here is be cautious when you head up there. This is just another way of saying that."

Anyone who travels Bear Camp Road during spring and fall seasons should be prepared to carry extra food, water and warm clothing. Also, make sure someone not traveling with you knows your travel plans and expected arrival and return times.

The Bear Camp Road route was taken tragically by the Kim family of San Francisco during a November 2006 snowstorm, stranding them for nearly a week. James Kim set out on foot to find help and was found dead from hypothermia. His wife and two children were rescued.

Motorists looking to traverse Southern Oregon mountains between the Interstate 5 corridor and the coast are urged to take Highway 42 from Myrtle Creek to Coos County or Highway 199 from Grants Pass into California before re-entering Oregon on Highway 101 south of Brookings.

— Mark Freeman

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