Pioneer cabins, watering holes and the lost town of Skookum in the Soda Mountain Wilderness Area

This moderate 4×4 run is great fun and history. The power-line road behind the communications site on the ridge at the end of Soda Mountain Rd is accessed view HWY 66 / Greensprings Highway out of Ashland. Make a right turn by the long row of mailboxes just before the turn off to Soda Mountain Rd. Follow the road to the end to find the lookout tower road, Skookum Creek Road and Mill Creek Road.  The features in this article can be found there.

This is worth a look if you are a history buff. The two older cabins are open and the larger one, and the easiest drive was built by the Jeffersons. The Jeffersons were a couple that maintained the power lines in the early 1900’s. Jefferson Power-Line Cabin is a great piece of local history.

Skookum is an old village near the Oregon-California Boarder. Mostly broken down cabins and junk of yesteryear there. You might be able to find some square nails or other fodder with a metal detector. The Murphy Cabin in the hills above is completely intact and says you may stay there on a sign. Bring a broom. The more recent hunting cabin is either locked or inhabited (best left alone and that part is a difficult 4×4 run if rocky is your thing).

The lookout is rocky but clear this time of year and is marked with a sign to the right before you ever get to the power line road. Awe inspiring views can be had there and the rangers are always friendly when it is inhabited.  You will see Mt. Shasta and McLaughlin on a clear day!

To see even more photos and videos from this trip, join Southern Oregon Outdoors – Photos, Views, Hikes, 4×4 Runs on Facebook.  You will find videos on this page from another source on YouTube, and also that link to entries for this hike in the Facebook group.

by Ryan & Kerri Mallory


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