Manzanitas are the “rock stars” of woody shrub diversity in California. Ranging from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the coastal bluffs along the Pacific, from temperate rainforests along the north coast to arid mountain slopes in Southern California, a wealth of manzanita species and subspecies can be found in an astonishing array of environments. Manzanitas occur on serpentines, dunes, volcanic soils, sandstone outcrops, dense shale, granite, gabbro–the list goes on. Central Coast manzanitas are some of the most diverse in the world.Continue Reading
Updated Hiking Maps
The book’s trail guide showcases the geologic history of the Lassen country. We have selected hikes that provide examples of the Lassen Volcanic Center and regional geology. USGS 1:24,000 scale maps show the trails and parking locations. The guide is illustrated but watch for references to figures and tables in previous chapters. Also, important background information about the geology in each hiking guide is discussed.Continue Reading
The route is now complete!
In mid-November 2019, the city of Eureka completed the Eureka Waterfront Trail by connecting a one-block section on 1st Street. This now allows bikers and walkers to hike from Tydd Street to Herrick Avenue — all on paved Trail!Continue Reading
In 2012, after nine years of writing Conifer Country, the book had evolved into my Master’s Thesis at Humboldt State. Based on all the time and energy we had put into this book, my wife Allison and I decided to take the leap and start our own small business. We had options with other publishers but the time seemed right for us to print and distribute the book ourselves. Conifer Country was our first baby and we wanted to keep it around. The book had become a well-refined masterpiece and we were going to take on all aspects of getting it into people’s backpacks.
Currently in their 6th round of printing–with over 12,000 copies sold–Conifers of the Pacific Slope and Conifer Country are the books that built Backcountry Press.Michael Kauffmann, co-owner of Backcountry Press
Learn about current and future opportunities with the Volunteer Trail Steward program and Humboldt Trails with this interview with Rees Hughes. For 10 years now Volunteer Trail Stewards have made it possible for the county and municipalities to expand our trail system. Maintenance and upkeep is always a concern, but volunteers have kept costs so low expansion is possible.
More opportunities available at Humboldt Trails.Continue Reading
Chris Valle-Riestra is an exceptional volunteer and trail steward–with a particular fondness for the Klamath Mountains. He has been spearheading trailwork in the Orleans Ranger District for many years and knows the trails well .
He has updated conditions of trails on the forest for fall 2019. Click through to the hiking descriptions and read his comments.Continue Reading
Prairie Creek Redwoods National and State Parks
The most extensive accessible trail system in Humboldt County is in the Elk Prairie/Big Tree areas of Prairie Creek Redwood State Park and Redwood National Park. This trail system offers many ways to mix and match the trails that network this area. Included in the route are magnificent old growth redwoods, picturesque Prairie Creek, the open grasslands of Elk Prairie, a nature trail, and miles of accessible trail.
Geology of the Lassen Country
The Bumpass Hell Trail is one of the most popular destinations in the Lassen Country. The trailhead is at the large parking area 0.25 mile (0.4 km) east of Lake Helen. The trail traverses the dacite of Bumpass Mountain for the majority of the hike. Also, note the well-preserved glacial polish and striae in the dacite alongside the first few hundred yards of the trail. They were created by the glacier that started from the Lake Helen cirque. At the viewpoint where the trail turns east, about 0.5 mile (0.8 km) from the trailhead, it crosses briefly into andesite of Mount Diller. Here a National Park Service trailside interpretive display shows a model of Brokeoff Volcano before erosion.
Trailhead: Bumpass Hell trailhead parking lot
Distance: 3.0 miles (4.8 km) round trip
Key Geologic Features: Hot springs, clay-altered bedrock
Hiking and wildflower adventures
Description: Located on a bend in the Van Duzen River, Owen R. Cheatham Grove is a majestic patch of old growth redwoods spared by the founder of what would become the Georgia-Pacific Plywood and Lumber Company. The short hike loops through the grove. From the west side of the parking area two trails lead across the riverbed to the Van Duzen River. Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park offers a small network of trails on the north and south side of the Van Duzen River. A summer bridge crosses the Van Duzen to 1.5 miles of additional trails on the south side. The north side trails include a nature trail with interpretive signs, a meandering walk up and down the hillside east of Grizzly Creek, and a stretch of trail west of Grizzly Creek.
The Earth is not always quiet. An isolated region of northeast California offers a land of boiling springs, steaming sulfur vents, mud pots, and volcanoes. The boisterous geology of the southern Cascades is defined by Lassen Volcanic National Park. A complex and compelling geologic story is told in The Geology of the Lassen Country, a new book by R. Forrest Hopson and Michael A. Clynne.Continue Reading
(Arctostaphylos uva-ursi subsp. cratericola)
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is a variable taxa because of the wide range of latitudes it explores across the northern hemisphere. Guatemala bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi subsp. cratericola) is a subspecies because of its disjunction distribution in Guatemala. It is also the only taxon not included in Field Guide to Manzanitas. Fernando Tobar recently took a trip to the Sierra Cuchumatanes, in Guatemala and observed these plants in their native habitat. That trip inspired this post.Continue Reading
In the massive flood of 1964, the once bustling community of Pepperwood was inundated by 30 feet of water. What remains on this floodplain of the Eel River are a few homes and farms, some vegetable stands, and a robust redwood forest. The Drury-Chaney Groves trail bisects the flat alluvial bench populated with redwoods that lie between the Avenue of the Giants and US 101. It is a flat walk and an accessible trail through several extensive groves of towering redwoods.
It was Berkeley paleontologist Ralph Chaney who first brought back ‘dawn redwood’ seedlings with him from China in the late 1940s. This deciduous sequoia joins the coast redwood and the giant sequoia as the three conifers known as redwoods.
Getting there: Drive south on US 101 for 32.5 miles taking Exit 674 (Avenue of the Giants/Pepperwood). Turn left onto the Avenue of the Giants for 2.7 miles. The road passes through what remains of the community of Pepperwood taking a bend to the south, quickly reaching the parking area for the Drury-Chaney Groves trailhead. Parking is available on both sides of the Avenue of the Giants. Approximate driving time, 40 minutes.
The route: From the parking area, the trail crosses a small open space and enters the redwood forest for the remainder of the walk. The level trail crosses the old Barkdull Road (0.6) — a right turn here will take you to another access point from the Avenue of the Giants in half a mile; a left turn leads to the general location of the old Barkdull Ranch (0.1). After crossing the Barkdull Road, the trail reaches the loop trail (0.7). The loop is 0.9 mile long (1.6). The return to the parking area necessitates retracing your steps (2.4).
Extras. Once located between Pepperwood and Stafford, the town of Elinor had a railroad stop, hotel, post office, and logging camp on the east side of the Eel River and a collection of homes, store, and school on the west side. A ferry plied the river connecting the two sides of the town. However, when the 1964 floodwaters receded there was little of Elinor left. Just after you turn left onto the Avenue of the Giants from Exit 674, turn left again on Elinor Road and drive 150 yards to the concrete barriers that block old US 101. You can follow the old road for a short distance to the bridge (dated 1938) crossing Jordan Creek. During periods of low water, it is possible to wander east to the Eel River.
Trinity Alps Wilderness
From Julie Kierstead-Nelson, Shasta-Trinity National Forest Botanist
Hello friends and plant lovers–the two parcels we (Shasta-Trinity NF) have been offered by a private owner are in the heart of the Trinity Alps, in the Klamath Ranges, one encompassing most of Bowerman Meadows, the other Emerald Lake at the head of Stuart Fork. I have attached a map, plus the write up I did in a hurry. We are submitting a funding proposal and will be competing against other acquisition proposals from all over the U.S.
Brenda Tracy, our staff person who is heading up the acquisition process, tells me that our botanical community support and information were very important to the success of our acquisition of lands on Mt. Eddy and Castle Crags. Please consider a short letter of support.
Please address your letter or email by Monday, December 3rd close of business to:
Public Services Staff Officer and Forest Lands Officer
3644 Avtech Parkway
Redding, CA 96002
SAMPLE VERBIAGE: Botanical values of Morris Meadows and Emerald Lake Parcels
The natural and intentional landscaping has matured into something quite special at the Potawot Health Village in Arcata, California. A sinuous series of wetlands have been created, native grasses and other plants reintroduced, and an extensive food garden and orchard established. While none of the trails are particularly long, they can be combined for a pleasant walk. By parking on Janes Road or in the Mad River Hospital parking lot and walking on the marked shoulder of the entrance parkway into Potawot the walk can be extended. A self-guided nature tour is available with numbered stops on the trails. Seating and a picnic table are spaced around the grounds.
Getting there: Drive 10 miles north on US 101 and take Exit 716B (Giuntoli exit), proceeding on Giuntoli Lane to the west (follow the roundabout to the third exit). The route passes over 101, rounds a traffic circle and continues on west, veering left (south) and becoming Janes Road. From the initial turn onto Giuntoli Lane to the signed entrance to Potawot is about one mile. Turn left into the entrance parkway for 0.3 mile to parking. Several access points to the trail complex exist south of the parking lot and entrance parkway.
Chris Valle-Riestra is an exceptional volunteer and trail steward–with a particular fondness for the Klamath Mountains. He has been spearheading trailwork in the Orleans Ranger District for many years and knows the trails well . He has updated conditions of trails on the forest for summer 2018.
The Orleans Ranger District has administrative responsibility for recreational trails in three designated ranger districts. These include portions of the Marble Mountain Wilderness, the Trinity Alps Wilderness, and the Siskiyou Wilderness.