Balm Mountain is the highest peak in the Calapooya Mountains, an arm of the Western Cascades along the northern edge of Douglas County that effectively keeps many plants of the California Floristic Province from moving northward. At the north end, there are remnants of an old lookout that stood there from 1933–1962, and while there is not much left of the former trail, it is fairly easy to follow the ridge south past wonderful rock formations, exciting plants, and terrific views.
No Trail: ~4 miles RT to southern end of ridge, ~5250–6100′
Location: Douglas County; Umpqua National Forest, Diamond Lake Ranger District
USGS Map: Staley Ridge; T25S.R3E.S23,26,27,34,35
Habitats: cliff, outcrop, forest, meadow
Bloom: late June to September
Take Highway 58 2 miles past Oakridge to Kitson Springs County Road. After 0.5 mile turn right onto Rd 21. Follow Rd 21 for 21.3 miles around the reservoir to a bridge on your right to Rd 2133 and 2134. Cross the bridge and take the left onto Staley Ridge Road 2134. Continue for 3.9 paved miles. Stay straight/right at the intersection of Road 2136. Continue for 8.2 miles on what is now gravel. Turn right onto Road 2154 and continue for about 1.1 miles then continue left on Road 236 for another 1.6 miles until you come to a wide pulloff on the right. Walk up the ridge to your left. The old lookout is only 0.25 mile from the road.
To explore the base of the mountain:
Take Highway 58 2 miles past Oakridge to Kitson Springs County Road. After 0.5 mile turn right onto Rd 21. Follow Rd 21 for 21.3 miles around the reservoir to a bridge on your right to Rd 2133 and 2134. Cross the bridge and take the right Coal Creek Rd 2133. Continue for 14.1 miles until you reach a 4-way intersection on top of the Calapooya Crest. Take the leftmost road 3810. It continues for 4.6 miles past a wetland, meadows, and large rocky area that used to be a quarry until it deadends at the Skipper Lakes trailhead.
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