Forested ridges and craggy peaks with lower slopes densely covered with brush generally describes Siskiyou Wilderness. You'll also discover fragile mountain meadows, open glades, shallow lakes, and the Wild and Scenic South Fork of the Smith River, which forms a large portion of the western boundary. Clear Creek and the headwaters of the East Fork of the Illinois River flow perennially through the Wilderness. Summer populations of steelhead attract anglers. The area is noted for its great diversity of plant life, and includes one of the world's largest concentrations of lily species and perhaps as many as 20 species of conifers. Here grows the rare Brewers spruce (the "weeping" spruce). Forage is limited, and stock users are advised to carry feed. Summers are usually very warm, but cold can strike any night of the year and severe storms are common year-round. The Clear Creek National Recreation Trail crosses 20.5 miles of the northern portion and provides access to some of the more scenic parts of the Wilderness. Human use is light and concentrated on the trails that lead to lakes. Much of the area lacks trails and is difficult to access cross-country because of the dense brush. Many authorities on the subject suspect Bigfoot could be hiding out in the untrammeled regions.
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 Siskiyou 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.
Smith River National Recreation Area Act - Public law 101-612 (11/16/1990) To establish the Smith River National Recreation Area, to redesignate the Sunset Crater National Monument, and for other purposes.
Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act - Public law 109-362 (10/17/2006) To designate certain National Forest System lands in the Mendocino and Six Rivers National Forests and certain Bureau of Land Management lands in Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, and Napa Counties in the State of California as wilderness, to designate the Elkhorn Ridge Potential Wilderness Area, to designate certain segments of the Black Butte River in Mendocino County, California as a wild or scenic river, and for other purposes.