Bohemia Mountain near Cottage Grove in Lane County, Oregon is a 5840’ peak with a nice hike to an incredible 360-degree view of the Cascade Range. Seasonal wildflower viewing, a nearby ghost town, and all-terrain vehicle trails make a trip to this area even more worthwhile.
Location: Google Maps – Eugene to Bohemia Mountain – *Approximate trailhead Location Read Below for detailed directions*
(N 43.574288 and W -122.656999) – Mountain Coordinates
To get there, drive south on I-5 from Eugene, taking Exit 174 at Cottage Grove. At the bottom of the exit, take a left on Row River Road. This road will change names several times, but stay on it for about 30 miles. The names will change from Row River to Shoreview, to Government, back to Row River, to County Road 2470, and finally Forest Service Road 22, but simply stay on the main paved path as it heads up along Brice Creek (this creek is a great spot for a quick dip before or after the hike, and there is a nice trail along its banks). At a sign for Fairview Peak, take a right on Rd. 2212. Follow this route roughly 6 miles. As another track joins from the left, stay on the main road, which will veer right. At 8.3 miles you will arrive at Champion Saddle. Take a left onto Road 2460 toward Fairview Peak.
The road is a little sketchier here, so drive carefully. Although a four-wheel drive truck would be nice, it’s not necessary. We did this trip in a 2009 Toyota Matrix, and it was fine (although we got some strange looks from the off-road enthusiasts in the area!). After about a mile, you will come to a 4-way junction at Bohemia Saddle.Park to the left next to a trail marker for Bohemia Mountain.
The trail is short (less than two miles round-trip), but relatively steep. It leads up numerous switchbacks with several nice vistas of the surrounding countryside. From late June to mid-August, wildflowers fill the woods and meadows along the trail, and a variety of succulents grow in the rocky areas, with surprising colors and flowers of their own. Toward the end of July, drawn by the profusion of blooms, many species of butterflies visit the forest and add color to the surroundings.
At the summit, make sure not only to explore the area where the trail ends, but also head east through a small forest to the REAL viewpoint, a long ridge of rock that juts east and gives a dramatic view of the Cascade mountains. On a clear day, you can see from Mt. Shasta to Mt. Hood, and all the peaks in between. Also, below you are visible the ghost town of Bohemia City, and the network of roads that lead through the area.
To get to the ghost town, head east from the beginning of the trail (near the parking area), and bushwhack down a small hill to the site. A few buildings remain from the original town, and various mining equipment debris are still strewn around the area. Be sure to check out some of the collapses mine entrances around the town, but use caution and No Trespassing Signs are posted on the entrances to the abandoned mines. Also beware of many of the collapsed mine shafts near the trail back up to the parking area.
Fire Watch Tower:
You’ll notice a Fire Lookout tower to the East of Bohemia Mountain. This tower is staffed continuously during the summer and provides another great viewpoint for the area. There is also a pit toilet located at the base of the tower that is open for public use.
There are many other mine entrances surrounding the ghost town. Be careful when you’re hiking and watch out for large holes in the ground. Some of them are VERY deep.
The area surrounding the mountain became known as the Bohemia Mining District, named after James “Bohemia” Johnson, who discovered gold here first in 1863. By 1866 the town of Bohemia City was established, complete with saloons, hotel, and private residences.
Also in the area is the Musick Guard Station, a two-story cabin that is available for rental through the U.S. Parks Department. Constructed in 1934 by the CCC, this station was built to provide fire support to the Bohemia Mining District. Although there is no water, plumbing, or electricity, a pit toilet and wood stove are located on-site. The cabin is available for reservations from mid-June to mid-October.
Find more photos and information on this post at Andrea’s Blog – Shoestring Traveler
Other Adventures Nearby: Wildwood Falls