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  • May 20  – 21, Kalmiopsis Wilderness trip from McCaleb Ranch to Chetco Pass. Caravans to trailhead leave Selma, OR at 9:30am on Sunday, May 20, return to Selma by dark on May 21. Scout and brush the old trail from Chetco Pass to Slide Creek with new SMC crew leader Justin Rohde. Email him for sign-up and details. justin(a)
Kalmiopsis leachiana at Johnson Butte
  • June 22 – 30, Kalmiopsis Wilderness trip from Vulcan Lake Trailhead, 28-miles east of Brookings, OR. Carpools leaving from Portland, Ashland and Grants Pass on June 21. Caravan departs from Brookings at 7am, June -22. Return to Brookings 6pm June 30. First basecamp is 5.5-miles from trailhead. Spend 5 days working between Box Canyon Camp and Taggart’s Bar. Relax for a day in the cool waters of the Chetco or Vulcan Lake, see the Kalmiopsis leachiana in full bloom. 
  • July 13 – 16, Soda Mountain Wilderness trip, one-hour east of Ashland, OR. Caravan departs from Ashland at 7am on July 13, returns to Ashland 6pm July 16. Enjoy four days exploring and working in the high country of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.
  • July 20 – 23, Soda Mountain Wilderness trip. Carpools depart from Ashland at 7am on July 20, returns to Ashland 6pm July 23. Take a long weekend and enjoy this newly designated Wilderness Area in Ashland’s backyard.
SMC Volunteers in Chetco River
  • Aug 10 – 17, Kalmiopsis Wilderness trip from Babyfoot Lake Trailhead, 15-miles west of Cave Junction, OR. Carpools leaving from Portland, Ashland and Grants Pass on Aug 9. Caravan departs from Cave Junction, OR at 7am on Aug 10, returns to Cave Junction by 6pm on Aug 17. First basecamp is 14-miles from trailhead. Enjoy Oregon’s largest unimpeded and most pristine river, the Wild and Scenic ChetcoPreference given to Illinois Valley High-School Juniors, Seniors and other youth groups.
  • Aug 18 – 26, Kalmiopsis Wilderness trip from Babyfoot Lake Trailhead. Carpools leaving Portland, Ashland and Grants Pass on Aug 17. Caravan leaves Cave Junction at 7am on Aug 18, returns to Cave Junction at 6pm on Aug 26. This trip will represent the first known thru-hike of the Trans-Kalmiopsis Route since the 2002 Biscuit Fire. Spend your off-time cooling off in the Chetco’s wild tributaries. 
  • Aug 31 – Sept 4, Kalmiopsis Wilderness Babyfoot Lake Loop trip, dependent on interest. Spend four days camping from Babyfoot Lake and working a 5.5-mile loop around it.

For Immediate Release

Ashland, OR, April 6, 2012 – The Siskiyou Mountain Club (SMC) will be hosting their 1st Annual Volunteer Appreciation Night on Saturday, May 5 at Southern Oregon University’s Meese Art Auditorium. Starting at 6 p.m., the SMC invites participants to enjoy appetizers, beverages and bid on a silent auction.  At 7 p.m., the SMC will start a presentation that features a virtual tour through the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area, volunteer stories and granting of two awards. At 8 p.m. coffee and sweets will be ready for those who would like to stay and mingle.

The Meese Art Auditorium is located at 1250 Siskiyou Blvd next to Indiana Street, and those planning to attend should RSVP on the sidebar at, or contact Gabe Howe at 503 545 4911 or howegabe(a)gmail.

Chetco River along the Trans-Kalmiopsis Route
The 2002 Biscuit Fire left much of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area’s 153-mile trail system impassable and dangerous. Over 2010 and 2011, SMC volunteers contributed over 2,000 hours clearing 21-miles of a 28-mile continuous route through the Kalmiopsis.  

They work from remote camps for up to 10 days at a time on a system of trails coined the “Trans-Kalmiopsis Route.” Access to the route is from the Babyfoot Lake Trailhead west of Cave Junction, OR and the Vulcan Lake Trailhead east of Brookings, OR. The route represents the only current access into the upper reaches of the Chetco River, Oregon’s largest unimpeded waterway renowned for its pristine clarity and record sized salmon. The SMC plans on finishing the route this summer, which will mark the 10 year anniversary of the Biscuit Fire, the largest wildfire in Oregon’s history.

“I’m just excited to get out there in the community and show people what we’ve done and what we’re doing,” says Howe, the SMC’s co-Founder and President. “We work on some of America’s most damaged trails and in Oregon’s most remote, rugged wilderness. While it’s slow going, our work is very real. We want to get the word out and give a night to the volunteers.”

He says the work is slow because chainsaws and other mechanized equipment aren’t allowed in Wilderness Areas. Howe and his volunteers cut through thousands of downed trees with crosscut saws, axes, and other hand tools. But that doesn’t bother him. “I love crosscuts, at least when they’re sharp. There are only a handful of people in Oregon who still know how to condition and file them.”

The original SMC crew at Babyfoot Lake Trailhead. 
Formed in 2010, the SMC is a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission it is to promote, enhance and maintain primitive outdoor destinations in the Siskiyou backcountry. They coordinate stewardship projects, publish field guides and outdoor literature, and lead active outdoor adventures for the public.

Those interested in the SMC should go to their website, There users can view a 2012 calendar of events, sign up for work parties, and view digital maps of the SMC’s progress in the Kalmiopsis.

Plan your adventure with Gmap4

When Gmap4 creator, Joseph Elfelt, first started posting as "Joey" on, people would post a static images with GPS tracks overlayed by commercial mapping software. "Those would be nice, but an interactive map would be nicer," says Elfelt of Redmond, WA.

So in 2009 he created Gmap4, a service that let users creative interactive maps to insert into their forum posts. A year later, in 2010, Elfelt discovered MyTopo, which allowed users to add a USGS overlay.

Head on over to and check it out for yourself.

Joseph Elfelt, creator of GMap4
Start by zooming in with the +/- arrows on the left side. Once closer into an area you're interested in, start messing with the overlays on the drop-down menu titled "map" on the screen's top, right-hand side. There are regular Google Maps overlays -- terrain, satellite, earth. But more importantly, there are three USGS overlays featuring trails and other data not available from Google.

The "t4 Topo-High" overlay hosted by is the highest quality topographic map available on the web -- and it's free. The "t3 Topo Low" overlay is useful in the Siskiyou backcountry because it features some abandoned trails, roads and hand-scribed notations.

The other drop down menu allows you to draw a track and download the GPS file or display the coordinate data. It will also give you a URL to share and reproduce the map you're viewing, shade hills, display declination, and activate many other features.

Between the overlays, the production capability and the information available, has revolutionized digital mapping services. And not only does it perform better than similar programs, it's free.

That sounds too good to be true to some outdoor forums online. Elfelt was banned from a few of them for promoting his free service. Administrators assumed it was spam. "I learned to always first contact the admin," Elfelt says. "Most admins are delighted I asked." gets about 1,000 hits per day. But that's not many considering nobody else is providing a service as powerful and dynamic as GMap4. "I know of exactly one," says Elfelt. "And the developer got the idea from me."

So next time you're mapping out an adventure or just want to take a virtual trip, checkout Gmap4 at As you dig deeper, read the help manual to learn how to do things like incorporate Google Maps into GMap4. And consider giving a few bucks, too. It costs some money to host

"It has been a blast doing something so many people find useful," says Elfelt. "It was the first of its kind when it launched." That's Elfelt being humble. Gmap4 is one of a kind.