We are currently in a densely wooded park in Wolf Creek, Oregon. The creek is 30 feet from the RV. We seem to have about forty acres to ourselves. One other campsite is occupied 1/4 mile down the road. Wolf Creek is a county park north of Grants Pass on Interstate 5. Wolf Creek was first settled in 1840 by pioneers prospecting and finding gold. Today Wolf Creek is a tiny town in Josephine County; the park is much bigger than the town and includes an entire mountain.
Gold was discovered in the creek, but far more gold was discovered in Golden State Heritage Site, along Coyote Creek, which is located close by to the east. Further travel to the east is covered with forest, laced with logging roads. Since we are driving a city car, dirt roads are not that much fun. There are more remote campgrounds in the area that may not fit our RV. Wolf Creek is noted as a remote style campground located near a small town, but is very close to Interstate 5 and would be an easy stop for long-distance travelers. It is used mostly in the summer and has only a few sites with electricity. Most use in the spring is for picnics. The creek isn’t large enough for fish and dries up in the fall, but in the spring it provides a pleasant backdrop and gurgling sound.
As mentioned, Golden had more gold and has an interesting history, but does not survive today as a town. Instead, it has been turned into a standing relic to times past. Visitors are treated to an open park-like setting where the growth has been kept in check by mowing. Golden was the site of a quickly exhausted placer strike in 1840. (as opposed to a hard rock mine, where miners drill directly into the mountain) When the easy gold was exhausted the miners moved on in 1850, still owing the claim, prospecting for easier treasure along the Salmon River. When they returned to Golden, to work the mine again, they found that claim jumpers took over and were working the abandoned mines.
Obviously a fight ensued and the previous owners prevailed and Golden was a fully operable mine into the 1890s when the miners turned to hydraulic mining blasting the dirt from the mountain and into a stamp mill. By 1920 the mines played out and the town was gradually abandoned leaving the site as it sits today.
There is so much rain, in Oregon, that the mining operations are invisible, but the townsite is super.
Here is a link to the google map for the area.
Link to our route Boise to Coos Bay
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