The Big Loop is the long (7.3 miles) hike up to the summit of Round Timber Mountain, ascending up the south ridge and descending the west.
The NBHMA is located five miles east of I-5 from near the town of Wilbur, the west entrance just past the five mile marker and the east entrance a further seven miles beyond. From the town of Roseburg, drive I-5 north approximately four miles to Winchester Exit 129, turn left on Highway 99 for two miles, then turn right onto North Bank Road. If coming from Eugene, take Wilbur Exit 135, cross over the freeway, then turn right on 99 for four miles until you get to North Bank Road, then turn left. After the five mile marker you will go around a sharp bend in the road, and immediately after you can park near the first locked green gate (taking care not to block the gate) or in the next, much larger parking area (although there is often many horse trailers parked here). Generally it is better to park at the second, larger parking area, all trail info is listed here, along with maps of the area.
From the main (western) parking area, head north past the gate and follow the initially muddy track up and around the toe of the mountain. In a little over one and a half miles you will reach the junction with the Whistlers Bend overlook trail which branches off to the right. Stay left and continue climbing until you reach Middle Knob at about 1800 feet. You can take a short side trail left to the summit of Middle Knob or continue on, descending in half a mile to the junction with Chasm Creek.
From there, continue on, ascending the steepest part of the trail just before reaching the crest of Round Timber (interestingly enough, the summit of R.T. is shown on Google Maps as being a lower point on the ridge.)From this point, the road bends west and you follow it as it leads up and down over four or five lesser summits along the ridge.
After the last hill climb, the road turns south and you begin the final descent, passing two tremendous Madrone Trees in a saddle just before you reach the valley floor. From here, it is a final one and a half miles of flat hiking to complete the loop back to your car.
Trail running shoes, poles for the muddy sections.
Being that this is a lower-elevation area, it is generally accessible year-round. For local weather condtions, click HERE
Chiggers, the larval stage of Harvest Mites (Wikipedia link HERE
) are a problem in this park. Be sure to wear long pants and shower after a day here.