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  • Shoofly Trail has a story to tell

    Hike into the 20,000-acre Red Buttes Wilderness is a Siskiyou Crest showcase
  • The 20,000-acre Red Buttes Wilderness is a showcase of what the Siskiyou Crest was like before Euro-American management. Giant fir, pine and cedar trees tower over layers of untouched forest filled with plant species that found refuge in these mountains while the rest of Oregon was ebbing and flowing with ice. Even the most amateur naturalist can easily observe the dependency and tension between life in this robust ecosystem.
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  • The 20,000-acre Red Buttes Wilderness is a showcase of what the Siskiyou Crest was like before Euro-American management. Giant fir, pine and cedar trees tower over layers of untouched forest filled with plant species that found refuge in these mountains while the rest of Oregon was ebbing and flowing with ice. Even the most amateur naturalist can easily observe the dependency and tension between life in this robust ecosystem.
    This 6-mile, easy to moderate, round-trip hike is a wild alternative to nearby and overused destinations such as Squaw and Applegate lakes. Continuous access to water makes it a great option for people eager to get their feet wet in overnight backpacking, and it's reachable most of the year, too.
    Download the 7.5-minute Kangaroo Mountain Quadrangle map from the Map Locator at http://store.usgs.gov. At the Star Ranger Station on Upper Applegate Road near Ruch, set your tripometer and continue southwest. At 12.1 miles, turn left and continue on Upper Applegate Road. Shortly after entering California, make a hairpin right on Forest Service Road 1050, which quickly merges into FSR 1040. At 13.8 miles on the tripometer, turn left on FSR 1035 and quickly pass over a bridge. The road ascends steeply; at 18.4 miles there is a corral and parking lot. The Shoofly trailhead is well marked on the road's south side.
    The Shoofly Trail (No. 954) enters rich forest and switches back gracefully. It also enters the federally designated wilderness area, so be sure to observe all regulations. Within 10 minutes, notice how large the pine trees on this slope grow.
    At .75 miles, you'll see a junction with trail No. 957. Head northwest, or right, where there are immediate views of and paths to the Butte Fork Applegate River. While the popular, lower regions of the Applegate River are largely developed and controlled, this fork is remote, clear, cold and wild.
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