Canyon Peak (Kalmiopsis Wilderness) 03-May-2019

In 2002, the Biscuit Fire roared through Southwest Oregon’s rugged Kalmiopsis Wilderness, reducing 500,000+ acres of cool, green forest to charred sticks and cinders. Then the Chetco Fire in 2017 and the Klondike Fire in 2018 added to this misery. Trails were lost along with the trees and, for many years, access (to the extent there was any) was a brush-chocked steeple chase over miles and miles of downed trees on faint tread. Then Gabriel Howe and the Siskiyou Mountain Club stepped-up and began the arduous task of bringing these trails back from oblivion.

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Eagle Mountain (Kalmiopsis Wilderness) 14-Jun-2015

Eagle Mountain Kalmiopsis Wilderness Oregon

After a week spent adventuring – hiking, rafting, beach walking, wine tasting – with family visiting from the East, we needed a short hike in a new area to regain our senses. Eagle Mountain seemed like a good choice (Hike #83 in Bernstein & Urness’s Hiking Southern Oregon (2014)). The peak can be reached via the Kalmiopsis Rim Trail #1124, sits just west of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, and so would give us a chance to see how the wilderness looked 10+ years after its devastation by the 2002 Biscuit Fire. One of my few regrets in this life (other than not buying Apple shares in 1992 for $5 each) is not having found the time to visit this wilderness before the Biscuit Fire, despite having driven past it numerous times. A hiker’s mea culpa for sure. The Kalmiopsis Rim Trailhead was readily accessible via 12 miles of good gravel Forest Road 4201 [which is also access to the popular Babyfoot Lake trailhead and the trail down to the Chetco River] but seemed a little naked.

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