Klamath Mountain Trails Information:

Trail Conditions and More

I am building this site as a repository of information on the trails of the Klamath Mountains in northern California, including current trail conditions. These mountains include three major groups--the Marble Mountains, the Siskiyou Mountains, and the Trinity Alps--and a number of lesser ranges.

For the present, the focus will be on furnishing information on trails administered by the Orleans Ranger District of the Six Rivers National Forest. The Orleans District is also responsible for trails in the Lower Trinity Ranger District, and in the Ukonom Ranger District of the Klamath National Forest. These areas include trails in the western part of the Marble Mountain Wilderness, the southern part of the Siskiyou Wilderness, the northwestern part of the Trinity Alps Wilderness, and nearby areas along the Klamath, Trinity, and Salmon Rivers.

I always appreciate receiving corrections and additions to the information in these pages--or even just your confirmation that information on one of the trails here remains current and correct. I would also appreciate receiving your GPX tracks, for use in improving the KML files in these pages. Please send any information to me at ChrisPValleR@gmail.com. Thank you!

Trail Conditions

The following documents are currently available (follow the links):

o Trail Descriptions and Conditions, Orleans Ranger District .  PDF, updated regularly with new information on trail conditions and maintenance status.  This document covers Lower Trinity and Ukonom District trails, as well.  Some of the major trails described include the Haypress Trail, the trail to Monument Lake, the Wooley Creek Trail, the Horse Trail Ridge Trail, and the trail to Mill Creek Lakes.

o Trail Report, Trinity Alps Wilderness, Shasta-Trinity National Forests Portion .  PDF, dated 9/22/16, published by the U.S. Forest Service, unfortunately no longer being updated.

o Ukonom Ranger District Trail Mileage Chart .  XLS, covering trail mileages in this portion of the Marble Mountain Wilderness.

Other Sources of Trail Condition Information

o Gasquet R.D. (Smith River National Recreation Area)--The Six Rivers N.F. Web site has quite a bit of information on individual trails, but it has not been updated in a few years.  From the forest's main page, click Recreation, then Hiking, then either Backpacking or Day Hiking (there being some overlap between these two categories).  Either choice will bring up a list of links to pages on individual trails.  A better choice for detailed information on selected trails in the district is the Smith River Alliance's trail guide at http://smithriveralliance.org/trail-guide/ .  A KMZ file with paths that can be displayed with Google Earth Pro and compatible products is available here.  However, the site is not regularly updated with reports on current trail conditions.

o Mad River R.D.--This district currently has no recreation staff.  We know of no good source for written information on current trail conditions.

o Weaverville R.D.--This district has an active trail maintenance program, and receives help from packers.  The former manager of the wilderness program, Jim Holmes, formerly maintained a PDF file with information on the condition of Trinity Alps Wilderness trails within this district.  This has not been revised since he retired at the end of the 2016 season.  You can find the most recent revision here at the Klamath Mountain Trails Web site (see above).   The district has more recently maintained a "Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail/Road Condition Report."  Recent editions have only included information on roads, including roads to trailheads.  Sometimes the district removes this document over the winter, and it is missing as of June 17, 2019.  The destination file is not a stable Internet address.  When it is available, you can reach the document by going to https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/stnf/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5152256 and clicking the link to "Trinity Alps Wilderness Trail Report."  A Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/trinityalpswilderness1984/ receives a fair number of postings on trail conditions, but is a chaos typical of Facebook pages.  As of July 2018, the district had maintained approximately 150 miles of Trinity Alps Wilderness trails during the season, and hoped to do another 50 by the end of the season.

o Salmon-Scott Rivers R.D.-This district, with hundreds of miles of trails, has an active trail maintenance program.  There is a "Klamath National Forest Trail Access Report," a PDF file updated occasionally.  It has its shortcomings, as it has little to say about interior trails.  The destination file is not a stable Internet address, but you can reach the document by going to https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/klamath/recreation and clicking the link on the right hand column to "Klamath National Forest Trail Report."  The most recent revision as of this writing was October 4, 2018.

o Happy Camp-Oak Knoll R.D.--This district has an active trail maintenance program.  It also uses the "Klamath National Forest Trail Access Report," described above under the Salmon-Scott Rivers R.D.

o The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forests have considerable trail information on the recreation pages of the forests' Web site.  Visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/rogue-siskiyou .  The organization of the site may be a bit confusing, so you may need to hunt for information.

o The Siskiyou Mountain Club sponsors interns who do trail work principally in the Siskiyou Mountains.  The SMC maintains a public record of the status of work it has performed at https://siskiyoumountainclub.org/trailfinder/ , the organization's "Trail Finder."  To get the most information out of this facility, open it in CalTopo.   This is quite a good supplement to the other sources of trail condition information.  The SMC Web page noted above also includes a text log of work performed.   Also, you can download a copy of this log at http://www.siskiyoumountainclub.org/trails/ .

o For the Pacific Crest Trail, there are condition reports on the Pacific Crest Trail Association's Web site at https://www.pcta.org .  However, the association is not good at keeping these reports up to date.

o Sometimes very useful trail condition reports can be found at https://www.hikingproject.com (REI's "Hiking Project"), but coverage is very spotty.

It is always prudent to check with the staff of the office for the ranger district in which trails you plan to use are located.

Other Information

o Recommended Day Hikes, Orleans, Ukonom, and Lower Trinity Ranger Districts (PDF)

o Fowler Cabin Journal, 2003-2018 .  For many years, a journal has been kept at Fowler Cabin on Wooley Creek Tr. in the Marble Mountain Wilderness.  Visitors are welcome to write something about themselves or their travels.  The old journal, which was full and was deteriorating badly, was taken out at the end of the 2018 season, and has been replaced with a new volume.  Here is a PDF scan of the volume that was in the cabin from 2003 through 2018.

KML Files

The following are KML files. These contain paths in KML format, tracing recreational trails, that can be opened in Google Earth Pro and compatible products. Once you save a file, and open it with Google Earth Pro, you can display trails selectively, and print maps.

Several sources of topographic map layers for Google Earth Pro are available. The one I like best is Earth Point. Go to http://www.earthpoint.us/TopoMap.aspx. Click the "View On Google Earth" button to download a small KML file. When you open this in Google Earth Pro, it will dynamically download the topographic map layer for the area you have displayed. The Web page identified above includes further instructions for use of the topographic map layer.

Paths in KML files can be converted to GPX tracks for use with most GPS devices. Google does not support this, but you can find facilities on the Web that will do it. GPX tracks and many other GPS track file formats can be imported directly into Google Earth Pro, and converted to paths to be stored in KML files.

Here is a brief explanation of the format of the paths in my KML files:

o Trails currently being maintained, or on the official U.S.F.S. list of trails that should be maintained on a regular basis, are in red. Please note that despite this classification, many of these trails haven't received maintenance in many years, and many are in very difficult condition. Please refer to the "Trail Descriptions and Conditions" document for the most recent known information on conditions.

o Trails shown in blue are private, temporary bypass, unmaintained, doubtful, or disappeared historical routes. Do not expect routes in blue to be usable--most are not.

o Trails shown in pink are private, or lead to private property.  Please respect property rights.

o Routes shown in green are suggested cross-country routes, not trails. These should be considered very rough guides for cross-country travel--please don't complain if they don't work out for you (although your feedback is always welcome).

o Routes shown in black are roads that are not shown on most topographical maps.  These are probably suitable for passenger cars, but please understand that forest road conditions fluctuate from year to year and season to season.

o Routes shown in brown are jeep trails that are not shown on most topographical maps.

As to all trails depicted in these files, please understand that the routes have been compiled from a combination of sources, including maps, personal observation, GPX tracks, and aerial imagery. In many cases, this information has been deficient, and due to timber or brush cover, fire damage, or very light recent trail use, it has not been possible to discern locations accurately from aerial images. Therefore, please consider the paths in these KML files to be only a guide, and not the last word as to correct trail locations. They are not a substitute for good routefinding skills. However, I believe that by and large, these paths are more accurate than any published maps. Please note that many published maps of these areas include huge mistakes.

The following KML files are currently available:

o Marble Mountains trails, Ukonom Ranger District (virtually complete)

o Trinity Alps trails, Orleans, Lower Trinity, and Ukonom Ranger Districts (virtually complete)

o Siskiyou Mountains trails, Orleans and Ukonom Ranger Districts (virtually complete)

Chris Valle-Riestra

Revised June 17, 2019

website counter