Russian Wilderness sits astride a major ridge dividing the Scott River and Salmon River drainages with steep slopes and broad, U-shaped glacial valleys surrounded by granite peaks. You'll find 22 named lakes, most of them set like jewels in cirques high in the valleys and drained by streams. A diverse array of plants can be found here, including 17 species of conifers--probably more than anywhere else in the world. The forests are laced with meadows, and rocky pinnacles and bluffs rise in numerous locations. Wildlife species include bountiful populations of deer and bears. Elevations range from 4,800 feet to Russian Peak's 8,200 feet. An extensive trail system generally crosses steep and rocky ground, difficult going for stock animals. Stock forage is limited in most of the lakeside campsites. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) runs the entire length of the area north-south for about 17 miles, but stays high with few campsites and snow until late in the season. Overall, human use is light.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Russian Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.