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The Sixes River is a river, approximately 30 mi (48 km) long, in southwestern Oregonmarker in the United Statesmarker. It drains a rugged region of the Coastal Range along the Pacificmarker coast south of Coos Baymarker.

It rises in the mountains of northern Curry County, south of Sugarloaf Mountain in the Siskiyou National Forestmarker. It flows generally west, through Grassy Knob Wildernessmarker, the town of Sixesmarker, and eventually enters the Pacific just north of Cape Blancomarker. The mouth of the river is along the coast in Cape Blanco State Parkmarker.

Accounts vary as to the origin of the name "Sixes". One local postmaster said Sixes was named for a Native American chief. Another source said that in 1851, the river was usually called the "Sikhs River" after the Chinook Jargon word for "friend", and on maps it was called the "Sequalchin River". Another source says the Native American name for the river was "Sa-qua-mi". Hodge's Handbook of American Indians says that one of the variants of the name of the local tribe, the Kwatami (a subdivision of the Tututni), was "Sik-ses-tene", which is said to mean "people by the far north country". Though this is most likely the real source of the name, the spelling "Sixes" was probably used by miners drawn to the Oregon gold rush who were familiar with the Chinook word "sikhs". The current spelling was used as early as 1855.

Copper Salmon Wilderness

On March 30, 2009, along the North and South Forks of Elk Rivermarker and the upper Middle Fork of Sixes River were designated as the Copper Salmon Wildernessmarker. The area contains one of the nation's largest remaining stands of low-elevation old-growth forest and one of the healthiest salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat trout runs in the continental United States along the north Fork of the Elk River, as well as stands of vulnerable Port Orford cedar and endangered marbled murrelets and northern spotted owls.

See also


  1. Copper Salmon Wilderness Campaign - Oregon Wild

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