Fremont-Winema National Forest Celebrates 50 Years of Wilderness with Summer Hikes

Contact(s): Erica Hupp 541-883-6715; Lisa Swinney 541-947-6261


Klamath Falls, Oregon – This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, September 3, 1964. Hundreds of events are taking place across the country throughout 2014 to recognize the continuing benefits of America's wilderness legacy. To highlight this important occasion, the Fremont-Winema National Forest will host “Wilderness Walks” in the Sky Lakes and Mountain Lakes Wildernesses.

“In 1964, the Wilderness Act was passed protecting just over 9 million acres. This year as we celebrate its 50th birthday, more than 100 million acres of wilderness have been preserved,” said Margaret David Bailey, District Ranger on the Klamath Ranger District. "As a result, families have more opportunities to get outside, communities' water and air is cleaner and a bit of nature has been saved for future generations to enjoy."   

For five decades, the Wilderness Act has protected many of America’s greatest and most breathtaking lands, including areas like the Gearhart Mountain, Mountain Lakes, Sky Lakes, and Mt. Theilsen Wildernesses in Klamath and Lake County Oregon.

In addition to these Wilderness Walks, the Fremont-Winema National Forest recently hosted a Gearhart Mountain Wilderness Event. It was held in conjunction with National Trails day, in June. At this event, volunteers helped Forest Service staff clean up one of the Gearhart Mountain trailheads and clear one of the trails into this wilderness area. Forest employees also conducted Wilderness Walks and Leave No Trace activities focused on ways to enjoy the outdoors responsibly.

For more information on the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, please visit:

http://www.wilderness50th.org

http://www.wilderness.net

 

Wilderness Hike Details

For all hikes it is recommended that you wear sturdy shoes or boots and bring a hat, sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, binoculars, plenty of water and a snack or lunch. Dressing in layers works best because of the temperature variances that tour participants may experience throughout the day. Also, be prepared for mosquitos by bringing bug spray.

If you are interested in attending one of the Wilderness Hikes, reservations are REQUIRED due to limitations on group size. Please call the Klamath Ranger District at 541-885-3400. Maps of the Gearhart Mountain, Mountain Lakes, Sky Lakes and Mt. Theilsen Wildernesses are available to purchase from all Fremont-Winema National Forest’s offices. These hikes are weather dependent, so if the weather is bad, i.e. heavy rain and wind or lightning, hikes will be cancelled.

 

Wilderness Hikes

  • Saturday, June 28 – Ranger Springs in the Sky Lakes Wilderness (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) Difficulty – Moderate

Don't miss an opportunity to join a Forest Service employee on a six-mile round trip hike that starts at an elevation of 5,600 feet and gradually climbs gentle slopes to the Pacific Crest Trail and Ranger Springs. The trail has not been totally cleared of winter blow down, so participants will need to climb over downed trees the last ¼ mile of the trail. Hikers will get to view the flora and fauna of the area and experience a bubbling spring. Your guide will talk about wildlife habitat, the significance of wilderness areas and soil erosion in forests. Meet the Forest Service guide at the Sevenmile Marsh Trailhead at 10 a.m. The trailhead is approximately ten miles west of Fort Klamath, Oregon. From Fort Klamath, it can be accessed by traveling east on Nicholson Road to Forest Service Road 3334. No fee is required to park at the trailhead.

 

  • Saturday, July 12 – Badger Lake in the Sky Lakes Wilderness (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) Difficulty – Easy

Take a guided, four-mile round trip hike along the eastern shore of Fourmile Lake. After climbing a small hill, the trail winds within a forested and meadow area to Badger Lakes where Bald Eagles are often seen up close. This hike offers great views of Mt. McLoughlin and provides an opportunity for your guide to discuss the flora and fauna of the Sky Lakes Wilderness and wilderness management practices. Meet the Forest Service guide at the Fourmile Lake campground trailhead at 10 a.m. Fourmile Lake is approximately 50 minutes northwest of Klamath Falls, Oregon, off of Highway 140 on Forest Service Road 3661. Drive to Fourmile Lake campground and follow signs to the trailhead. There is no fee required to park at the trailhead.

 

  • Saturday, July 26 – Clover Lake in the Mountain Lakes Wilderness (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) Difficulty – Moderate

Take a guided, four-mile round trip hike into the Mountain Lake Wilderness on the Clover Creek Trail. The trail winds through deep shady woods, along meadows and ridges of the Clover Creek drainage. Your guide will talk about different wildlife habitats and wilderness management practices. Meet the Forest Service Guide at the Clover Creek Trailhead at 10 a.m. To reach the trailhead, travel approximately nine miles west on Highway 66 from Klamath Falls, Oregon, to Keno, Oregon, Turn right (west) onto the Clover Creek Road and continue 15.5 miles, then turn right onto Forest Service Road 3852. Proceed 3.3 miles to the trailhead that is located at the end of the road. There is no fee required to park at the trailhead.

 

  • Saturday, August 16 – Isherwood Lake in the Sky Lakes Wilderness (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) Difficulty – Easy

This seven-mile round trip, guided hike will start at 10 a.m. at the Cold Springs Trailhead is located about one hour (or 40 miles) from Klamath Falls, Oregon Travel northwest on Highway 140 to approximately milepost 41 and turn right (north) onto Forest Service Road 3651. Proceed 10.2 miles to the trailhead that is located at the end of the road. There is no fee required to park at the trailhead. The hike to Isherwood Lake takes participants through dense lodgepole and mountain hemlock stands, wet lowlands and numerous lakes. Your guide will talk about the many uses and benefits of forests, the history of wilderness preservation and wilderness management practices.





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/fremont-winema/news-events/?cid=STELPRD3806433