Red Rock Valley Loop (Marble Mtn. Wilderness) 29-Sep-2016

Marble Mountains Wilderness Northern California

We made our first foray into the 225,114 acre Marble Mountain Wilderness (details) during the low (or no)-snow year of 2015 with an out-and-back hike to Marble Valley from Lovers Camp (post).  But then our local – an actually printed on paper – paper had a small article about a loop hike from Lovers Camp, up the Red Rock Valley, north along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), and then back via the Canyon Creek trail that looked interesting.  And so it sat on our ever-lengthening to do list for more than a year.  Now seemed like, with weather (rain, snow, cold!) predicted for the days ahead, the opportune moment to finally try this loop.

Unfortunately, The LovedOne was sidelined by a utility inspection, so this one fell to me as another solo hike.  So, alone (sniff, sigh), I drove to the Lovers Camp trailhead outside Fort Jones, California.  This is one trailhead that’s accessible all on paved road, but the last 7 miles is one lane and twisty – and is slow going if you get lodged behind a horse trailer or someone challenged by curves.  However, once you finally get to it, there’s ample paved parking and a pit toilet.

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Marble Valley (Marble Mtn. Wilderness) 20-Apr-2015

Marble Mountain Wilderness California

It had been a largely snowless winter, with few, if any, trails closed by snow. We had been doing a lot of hiking locally but got to wondering what conditions would be like in Northern California, after a week of no precipitation (much less snow) and temperatures rising into the 80ºFs. So we decided to do our first hike in the Marble Mountain Wilderness from the Lovers Camp Trailhead to see for ourselves. The Marble Mountain Wilderness is the second (going from north to south) of four wilderness areas (Red Buttes, Marble Mountain, Russian, Trinity Alps) that are west of Interstate-5 in Northern California. It’s east side is readily accessible from Interstate-5 and Highway 3 through Fort Jones.

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