Once away from the coast, the climate becomes much more extreme. As locals know, the marine layer and fog that can blanket the coast during the summer months rarely penetrates past the first tier of mountains. Vegetation changes with oak woodlands replacing redwood forests. This part of the county touches on what David Rains Wallace calls the “Klamath Knot” – the confluence of Cascade and Sierra, a tumbling together of plant species, an unexpected abundance of biological diversity.
The best hiking opportunities are in the Six Rivers National Forest (SRNF), BLM’s Lacks Creek Management Area, and along several rural roads. Sadly, the lack of support for and maintenance of trails in SRNF often requires a spirit of adventure. Several walks have also been included from the communities of Blue Lake and Willow Creek.
It is not unusual for inland county roads to pass through open range with privately held land on both sides of the road for considerable distance. As discussed in the “Introduction”, the public right-of-way is widely variable although generally extends a minimum of 40 feet. This does require care when parking and vigilance to keep from straying from the road. The intimidating signs often posted along rural roads are much more bark than bite. All this being said, the best strategy is avoid confrontation, explain your purpose when asked, and use common sense.
- Blue Lake Industrial Park and Mad River Levee
- Upper Fickle Hill Road
- Mountain View Road
- Bald Mountain and Snow Camp Road
- Walking in the Horse Mountain Area
- Indian Butte Loop
- Trinity Alps Vista
- Cold Springs Wander
- Spike Buck Mountain
- East Fork Willow Creek
- Boise Creek
- Lacks Creek
- Pine Ridge
- Mid-Slope Road/Pine Ridge Loop
- Willow Creek Walks
- Brush Mountain Fire Lookout
- “Prospect” Trail
- Bluff Creek Historical Trail
- Shelton Butte
Other options in the area that deserve a brief mention: Lower Bair Road