Snow makes Bear Camp Road impassable again

If your weekend plans included a trip over Bear Camp Road, it's time for Plan B.

Less than a day after the road was cleared of winter snow, a late spring storm likely will bury it again this weekend.

Three inches or more of snow was expected above 2,500 feet in eastern Curry and Josephine counties by early today, meteorologist Sven Nelaimischkies said, and as much as a foot of snow could fall on higher elevations around Bear Camp Road over the weekend before the storm passes.

"It could be a big dump before this is over," Nelaimischkies said.

Snow showers were expected to continue through today and into tonight and could linger into Sunday.

The route follows paved logging roads through federal forestland, connecting Agness and Merlin. It's a popular shuttle road for rafters who run the wild and scenic Rogue River during the summer. The road is customarily cleared in time for the Memorial Day weekend, the traditional beginning of the summer rafting season. The Bureau of Land Management announced Thursday that the road had been cleared of the snow that makes it impassable in winter. But the new storm puts that status in jeopardy.

The route has caused problems in the winter, because it is not plowed. Travelers unfamiliar with the area regularly get stranded and have to be rescued. Local people know to avoid it in winter, but satellite navigation systems sometimes send travelers on the road.

A California man, James Kim, died in November 2006 after he and his family lost their way on the road. His wife and two daughters were rescued, but Kim died after he set out alone on foot seeking help.

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