Kalmiopsis Wilderness

After visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California, I wanted to stop by in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in the Siskiyou Mountains in southwestern Oregon.

After driving up from Lassen, I spent the first night at the Little Falls Campground, referring to a nearby waterfall on the Illinois River. It was a simple 3-site campground and on Tuesday night, I was the only one there.

There was a nice 1 mile loop trail down to the river, perfect for an evening stroll

The area is known for unique plants and flowers due to the serpentine rocks and soil, which is fairly rare. And I was there at the perfect time.

There used to be a 50+ miles loop here around the wilderness, but the Biscuit Fire apparently erased a lot of that. I still wanted to explore the area but the weather was allowing for one nice day. I would spend most of the rest of the trip in the burn area. One thing I noticed is that while in the Mt. Saint Helens area the old trees on the ground are next to new ones growing, there were almost no no trees growing in the burned areas, just lots of bushes and ground cover.

I drove up to the Babyfoot Lake trailhead and headed up. I took the 1 mile side trip to check out the small lake.

It was supposed to clear up but it was foggy to start

The trail tops lout at 5000 on a ridge and the sun started to show. There were some logs across the trail through this part, but they were easy to pass.

The name Kalmiopsis comes from the flower of the same name, which mainly grows here. Fortunately there were a number of patches on the trail

Although I had hoped to hike farther, to the Chetco River, the likelihood of hiking out in the rain the next day convinced to stop sooner, near the old Baily Cabin site.

The rain started right after I went to bed. It only rained a bit overnight but it cleared briefly in the morning for my benefit so I could enjoy my oatmeal in peace before the long hike out in the rain and wind.