|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
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Ishi Wilderness trails run through stream-carved canyons, past stunning vistas, back to gold rush days.
Almanor Ranger District Lassen National Forest Box 767 Chester, CA 96020 916/258-2141 Lassen National Forest Supervisor's Office 55 S. Sacramento St. Susanville, CA 96130 916/257-2151
Location: The wilderness area is in the southern Cascade foothills of northern California, between and east of Chico and Red Bluff. Chico is 20 miles south, and Chester is 40 miles east.
Getting There: To get to Deer Creek trailhead, head for Chico 85 miles north of Sacramento on U.S. 99. Exit at Cohasset Road and drive east. Six miles from where the pavement ends, bear right and head down a steep hill for a mile. At the bottom of the hill, go straight and find a sign that says "Ponderosa Way, Deer Creek 6, Mill Creek 24." Follow it about 10 miles to Deer Creek, the first of the trailheads. Mill Creek trailhead is accessed from the north.
Seasonal Information: Hiking is best in spring and fall, when the blazing heat of summer is tempered by chilly nights, and rattlesnakes are less active. Spring is also a prime time because of availability of water and magnificent wildflower displays, especially along Moak Trail. Summer temperatures frequently top 100 degrees F, and water is scarce.
Wildlife: While the Yahi Yana tribe is gone, their white-tailed deer, mountain lion, and black bear companions still thrive here. The Tehama deer herd, the largest migratory herd in California, winters in the area. Other wildlife includes wild hog, bobcat, and rabbit.
Towering cliffs are home to golden eagles, peregrine, red-tailed hawks, prairie falcons, and various owls. Other common sightings include wild turkey, quail, mourning doves, canyon wrens, band-tailed pigeons, and myriad songbirds. Chinook salmon spawn in Deer and Mill creeks, sharing the water with squawfish, tule perch, and rainbow and brown trout. Insects: It's a good idea to bring insect repellent. Ticks are most active from April through October and are found on both vegetation and animals. Scorpions are not especially poisonous, but can pose some danger for children. They hide under rocks, logs, and debris. Plant Life: The trails include steep descents through chaparral to dusky glens lush with live oak, Indian rhubarb, and wild grapes. Ponderosa and digger pine mingle with black, live, and blue oak, forming a shady canopy over the trail. Breaking out of the trees, the trail meanders through south-facing meadows of tall grass and wildflowers; lupine, poppy, morning glory, mule's ear, sego lily, stonecrop succulents, snake lily, and thistle. Facilities: Camping is primitive in the wilderness. There is a year-round campground at Black Rock with five fee sites available just to the north of the wilderness. All Lassen National Forest campgrounds have fire rings, tables, and restroom facilities. Stream water is available at Black Rock. The Almanor Ranger Station, with visitor center, is located to the east of the wilderness area.
Parking: Contact park office for information. Permits: Campfire permits are available, but Forest Service officials recommend that you use a camp stove since wood is scarce. Fishing is allowed with a permit from the state fish and game department. Policies:
Leave No Trace:
All LNT guidelines apply.
Maps: The "Lassen National Forest" map is available from the Almanor Ranger District for $3.22 (contact address above). Checks must be made out to NIA, Lassen National Forest's attributive association. USGS 15-minute quads "Barkley Mountain" and "Devil's Parade Ground" cover the eastern half, and "Panther Springs" and "Ishi Caves" cover the western half.
These maps are available from: Branch of Distribution USGS Box 25286, Federal Center Denver, CO 80225 303/236-7477
Orders must be prepaid ($2.50 each includes shipping). Allow six weeks to arrive.
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