Hornbend Trail

Photo showing deep water at Hornbend Trail, Selma, OregonLocation
42.289400, -123.723348 (trailhead)

Follow Highway 199 to Selma and turn on Illinois River Road into the Wild and Scenic River corridor. The turn is marked by a blinking yellow light with a post office on one corner and gas station on the other corner. Turn and drive past the post office to get on Illinois River Road. If you turn the other way you will be on Deer Creek Road and going in the wrong direction. Drive 7.2 miles down the Illinois River Road to the trailhead. At mile six, be on the lookout for a short segment of the road that is unpaved. This segment has wash board and potholes that can be dangerous at high speeds. At mile seven, you come to a fork with a wide gravel road veering off to the right. The Hornbend Trail begins in the large turnout on the left immediately after this intersection. 

Map showing the Hornbend Trail in the Wild and Scenic Illinois River corridor, Selma, OregonDescription
The Horn Bend Trail is a short but steep trail that takes hikers to an area of colorful rock formations and deep pools of clear water. The rocks in this area are mostly chert, a rock that commonly forms on ocean bottoms. The formations seen along the river in the Horn Bend area most likely formed in a small basin near a chain of volcanic islands that were active near the ancient shore of Oregon during the Jurassic (the middle part of the age of dinosaurs). This volcanic islands chain is referred to in geologic journals as the Chetco Volcanic Islands. The islands and ocean basin eventually collided with the continent and became part of the Oregon mountains you see around you as you drive down Illinois River Road.

CAUTION: The Horn Bend segment of the Illinois River has deep pools, sharp drop-offs and swift water that can be hazardous for both experienced and inexperienced swimmers. If you are planning to swim, be certain you understand the hazards associated with wild rivers and prepare for a safe visit. In this section of the river, swimmers must climb rocks to get into and out of the river. There are no beaches. Remember to take water with you for the steep hike back up the hill to your car.