Box O Ranch Loop (Soda Mtn. Wilderness) 26-Apr-2018

Box O Ranch Soda Mountain Wilderness Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Oregon

Oregon’s Soda Mountain Wilderness is divided by a powerline corridor into two pieces. The larger, western piece hosts some of the best known hikes in both this wilderness and in Southwestern Oregon: the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), the Lone Pilot Trail, the Pilot Rock Trail, and the Boccard Point Trail. The eastern piece, where oak and pine forests transition into the state’s eastern desert, has no formal trails and is less well known.  Jenny Creek, which has been suggested for Wild & Scenic River status, and the former Box O Ranch are perhaps the best known of the eastern area’s offerings.  Last December, we did a short exploratory hike to the summit of Rosebud Mountain on the edge of the Oregon Gulch Research Natural Area, which is within the wilderness. Today we explored the heart of the wilderness with a longer loop hike to the former Box O Ranch and Jenny Creek.

UPDATE: We hiked a more direct version of this loop in 2021. Continue reading “Box O Ranch Loop (Soda Mtn. Wilderness) 26-Apr-2018”

Jenny Creek Falls (Northern California) 24-Apr-2018

Jenny Creek Falls Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument California

Jenny Creek – which has been proposed for designation as a Wild and Scenic River – flows south out of Howard Prairie Reservoir in Southwestern Oregon for approximately 22 miles until it empties into Iron Gate Reservoir on the Klamath River in Northern California. Along the way, the creek passes through the eastern edges of both the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and the Soda Mountain Wilderness. Jenny Creek and its tributaries (Keene, Corral, Johnson, and Beaver Creeks) are separated from the Klamath River by two waterfalls (a 15-foot lower and a 40-foot upper) that were created as the creek carved through a lava flow that occurred approximately 5 million years ago. By separating the upper reaches of the watershed from the river, these falls have given rise to the Jenny Creek redband trout, a unique lineage of trout found only in the upper creek. Hence many good reasons to appreciate these falls in person. Only one tiny problem – how to reach them? Continue reading “Jenny Creek Falls (Northern California) 24-Apr-2018”