The Trailhead for Canyon Mountain is easy to find. Find Highway 199 (Redwood Highway) between Grants Pass and Cave Junction. At Milepost 24, which is 24 miles south of Grants Pass and 4 miles north of Cave Junction, turn west onto Eight Dollar Road. This is well signed and indicates the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area is 17 miles from this intersection.
Zero your odometer here and start heading west on this paved road. At 1.0 the pavement narrows, at 2.7 cross the famous green steel bridge over the Illinois River. This green bridge has been the sight of many logging protests and some violence. At 3.1 the pavement ends at the Josephine Campground. At 3.7 stay right and then just stay on the good main road for several miles as it climbs up over 4,000 ft. At 14.3 go left and ignore several spur roads that branch off the main road. At 15.0 miles arrive at the Babyfoot Lake trailhead on the right. There is a nice new vault toilet at the trailhead.
The Babyfoot Lake Trailhead is at elevation 4,330 ft. The summit of Canyon Mountain is 4,916 ft. There are lots of ups and downs on this hike. The total hike is about 8.0 miles with 2,000 ft of elevation gain (750 ft of that on the hike back to the trailhead) and takes about 4 hours.
Take the well marked trail south from the trailhead for about .3 of a mile where you come to a signed fork in the trail. Take the left fork marked as the Babyfoot Lake Rim Trail 1126. The right hand trail goes down to Babyfoot Lake and you lose about 400 ft of elevation.
Stay on the trail as it passes above Babyfoot Lake that you can see about 700 ft below you to the north. The trail climbs over a little ridge at about 4,780ft. before it drops down to an old road bed. This is about 1.8 miles from the trailhead. At the roadbed, make sure you look around so that you recognize where the trail is. There is a small sign marking the spot, but you have to be alert to see it nailed to the tree. Where the trail meets the roadbed, turn left or south and follow the road for about another 1.4 miles towards Canyon Mountain.
At the saddle before Canyon Mountain there is another sign and a fork in the road. This one indicates the Bailey Cabin Trail 1131 is to the right. Do not take this trail. Instead, continue straight ahead along the ridge towards Canyon Mountain. The trail is a little overgrown in spots, but it is a good trail.
The trail traverses to the left or east side of Canyon Mountain and continues to climb. You have to pay attention to the surroundings here or you will miss the branch trail that goes to the summit of Canyon Mountain. As the trail climbs and then emerges from a forested area the trail then reaches a small apex before starting to descend again. The fork is right there at the apex on your right and it branches back about 150 degrees towards the summit of Canyon Mountain. This part of the trail is severely overgrown and has been abandoned years ago. You can see the trail but have to push through brush in spots. Near the summit, the trail all but disappears and does a couple of switchbacks that are hard to see. If you lose the trail, just pick a route and push up to the ridge and then to the highpoint.
[img:362013:alignright:medium:]The 10 essentials are always required. Make sure you have a map. A GPS is always handy. In the summer, this hike can be quite warm and there is no easy water source. Cell phone coverage is spotty in this area, but should work on the ridgelines and summit.