Payette National Forest
  • Home
  • Downloads
  • Return to Portal
  • Bear/Cuprum Area, Council Ranger District

    A recreation site near Cuprum surrounded by sub-alpine conifers.
    Landscape of the Bear/Cuprum area. | Courtesy photo by Cody Allred.

    Bear/Cuprum Area, Council Ranger District

    The Bear/Cuprum area in on the Council Ranger District. Access to the area is via the Council – Cuprum (FS Road #002). As you travel the Council - Cuprum road, it will form a Y split with FS Road #105 – Stay left on the #002 road to reach Cuprum – Stay right and follow FS road #105 to Bear.

    Another access into the area is from Hells Canyon up the Kleinschmidt Grade (FS Road #050). As the name suggests, this is a steep and narrow road with big drop offs. The road climbs 2,200 feet in less than 5 miles, and is not advisable for RVs, trailers or motorhomes. 

    The scenery on the drive is incredible with view of the Oregon Wallowa Mountains. As the road climbs quickly, it is a way to get out of the heat and into the cool mountain air at the base of Seven Devils Mountains. At the base of the grade, it is approximately a 43 mile trip to Council, but there are things along the way to sidetrack you.

    When you reach Cuprum, you have traveled about 10 miles, gained about 2,600 feet. The terrain around Cuprum if forested with creeks and meadows.

    From Cuprum you can visit Sheep Rock and Horse Mountain Lookout, 13 miles out of Cuprum. If you backtrack from Horse Mountain, stay on the Forest Road 106 north because it goes to Kinney Point and Sheep Rock, two excellent overlooks.

    Sheep Rock (6,886 feet in elevation), which was designated a national landmark, has an interpretive trail that is typically full of wildflower in the spring to early summer months.

    From Sheep Rock, you can backtrack again toward the community of Bear and along the way prior to reaching Bear, you can turn on to FS Road #112 and head into the Seven Devils Mountains and Black Lake on the New Meadows Ranger District. The route back to council on the Council – Cuprum Road is the way out of the area.