Snow Mountain is the southernmost peak in the North Coast Range. In Snow Mountain Wilderness, you'll find the transition zone between the Coast Range and the lower valley foothills. Higher elevations are relatively flat and eroded, with some stands of red fir and large expanses of bare ground with trails that provide vast overlooks. Mid-elevations are covered in red, white, and Douglas fir and ponderosa pine growing on steep to very steep slopes dissected by stream-cut ravines. Chaparral brushlands and oak woodlands dominate the lowest elevations with many opportunities for relatively easy cross-country travel. The Middle Fork of Stony Creek forms the primary drainage, shadowed in many places by rocky bluffs. You'll see some areas recently burned by wildfire. One hundred twenty-two species of wildlife may be found in the Snow Mountain Wilderness, including deer, bear, mountain lions, eagles, and hawks. There are about 42 miles of trails suitable for horsepacker or backpacker. If you prefer horseback and less-visited places, you'll find the Snow Mountain Wilderness an exceptional choice. The Overlook Loop provides an excellent vantage point from which to survey the Wilderness: 6.5 miles across old burns, up to high vistas, down into Dark Hollow Creek, and back to the Summit Springs Trailhead.
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 Snow Mountain 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.
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.