Description - The Siskiyou is a mid-sized wilderness area which lies on the borderline of the Klamath and Six Rivers National Forests of northwestern California. This is a relatively light use area which includes 153,000 acres of forested land. Cross country travel here is almost impossible due to the dense vegetation. Perennial streams include Clear Creek, Upper South Fork Smith River, and the headwaters of the East Fork Illinois River.
Complex plant communities in the Siskiyou Wilderness include brush, glades, wet meadows, and forests of Douglas Fir, Ponderosa, and Sugar Pines as well as Port Orford cedar and mixed hardwoods. The Upper South Fork Smith River, a designated Wild and Scenic River, and the Soth Kelsey National Recreation Trail are located in the northern part of the Siskiyou. The Oregon National Monument is located just north of here. Part of the Helkau District, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is near Blue Creek in the southern part.
The Siskiyou Wilderness sustains most use at the Clear Lake, Pine Creek Basin, Patterson Lake, and Summit Trails. The best time to travel here is from July to mid-October, although severe weather can occur in any month.
- Both the Clear Creek and South Kelsey National Recreation Trails provide well-signed access into the Siskiyou Wilderness from trailheads at Elbow Springs, No Mans, Youngs Valley, and Doe Flat. The Siskiyou is home to a host of mountains and peaks with summits over 6,000 feet including Black Butte, Lookout Mountain, and Young's Peak. Although the area is relatively devoid of lakes, there are many miles of trails which wander through the valleys and along the streams of the Siskiyou. Popular campground lie on its periphery.
Recreation - Horseback riding, hiking, and backpacking are enjoyed on this wilderness area.
Climate - The climate in the Siskiyou Wilderness Wilderness Area, as in much of the Klamath National Forest, is influenced by elevation. As throughout California, most of the precipitation comes between November and April. This comes in the form of rain at the lower elevations and some wet, heavy snow in the higher elevations. April through October are normally dry, with warm temperatures at the low elevations and moderate temperatures in the higher elevations. The best time to travel here is from July to mid-October, although severe weather can occur in any month.
The Siskiyou Wilderness lies on the borderline of the Klamath and Six Rivers National Forests of northwestern California. It is situated directly west of the towns of West Branch, Happy Camp, Curly Jack, and Ti Bar along State Highway 96 which runs the length of the Klamath from north to south. Preston Peak Botanical Area is contained within the wilderness, and both the Clear Creek National Recreation Trail and the South Kelsey National Recreation Trail run through it.