The Old Historic Klamath River Road – Is It Still a Public Right of Way?

The road shown in the photo above is outlined with a black box on the topographical road map below

The photo above, taken by William E. Simpson II, shows a stretch of the old historic Klamath River Road. Much of the original historic road remains intact, and could possibly be used again by the public for various benefits in the public interest.  Clearly, it would be a great hiking trail along the river as one of many suggestions.

The draining of Iron Gate Lake has revealed the historic Klamath River Road.  And it almost looks good enough to drive upon.

This historic road started as a trail for indigenous peoples, explorers and settlers. And it has been a public right of way for time immemorial.

Now that it’s back from its time under the water of Iron Gate Lake, legal questions may arise. 

The black box on the old map above depicts the area shown in the photo above. The original old Klamath River Road is depicted on the map running along the north side of the Klamath River before Iron Gate Dam flooded the canyon.
  • Does the public still have rights to use this road for walking, horseback riding, or recreational river access? 
  • Does the County still have rights to this road?
  • Did the County ever legally relinquish their rights?

It’s seems that there may be some very interesting legal questions to be asked and answered. It also seems that making use of this historic road would be in the best interest of the public, and a fair exchange for the loss of the lake.  

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