The Cedar Roughs Wilderness, west of Lake Berryessa in Napa County, is a large mound of "serpentine" soil. Serpentine, California's official mineral, is a bluish-green (but sometimes reddish) rock that is not only nutrient poor, but poisonous to many plants since it naturally contains mercury and other harsh elements.
Despite this, the area is bursting with plant life that has evolved to not only survive, but to thrive in the harsh soil. One of these plants is the rare Sargent cypress which can range from small shrubs kept at pygmy size by especially pure areas of serpentine soil, to handsome trees sixty feet or more in height. It is this tree-form of the cypress that convinced pioneers to erroneously call the area "Cedar" Roughs.
The area is also known to be a black bear breeding area. Indeed, Cedar Roughs supports Napa County's last wild black bear population. Deer, squirrels, coyote and other wildlife also roam the area.
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 Cedar Roughs 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.