Fremont-Winema National Forest Celebrates 50 Years of Wilderness With Additional Guided Hikes

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

Lakeview, Oregon – In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, the Fremont-Winema National Forest will host two additional wilderness hikes on Sept. 13 and 20. If interested in attending, reservations are REQUIRED due to limitations on group size. Please call the Klamath Ranger District at 541-885-3400.

For all hikes it is recommended that you wear sturdy shoes or boots, bring a hat, sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, binoculars, plenty of water, snacks and/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.

Maps of the Gearhart Mountain, Mountain Lakes, Sky Lakes and Mt. Thielsen Wildernesses are available to purchase from all Fremont-Winema National Forest’s offices. These tours are weather dependent, so if the weather is bad, i.e. heavy rain and wind or lightning, tours will be cancelled.


·       Saturday, Sept. 13 – Varney Creek Trail in the Mountain Lakes Wilderness (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) Difficulty – Moderate

Take a guided six-mile round trip hike into the Mountain Lakes Wilderness on the Varney Creek Trail. The trail winds through deep shady woods, along meadows and ridges of the Varney Creek drainage. Your guide will talk about different approaches to wilderness management and how maintenance is performed within the wilderness setting. Meet the Forest Service Guide at the Varney Creek Trailhead at 10 a.m.
To reach the trailhead, travel approximately 20 miles west on Highway 140 from Klamath Falls, Oregon, to milepost 48 in the Odessa Area, turn left (south) onto Forest Service Road 3637 (sign for Varney  Creek) and continue 1.8 miles to Forest Road 3664. Proceed two miles to the trailhead that is located at the end of the road. There is no fee required to park at the trailhead.

·       Saturday, Sept. 20 – Cherry Creek Trail in the Sky Lakes Wilderness (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) Difficulty – Moderate/Strenuous

This six-mile round trip guided hike will start at 10 a.m. at the Cherry Creek Trailhead located about 60 minutes from Klamath Falls, Oregon. The hike will begin with a steady climb up the Cherry Creek drainage and pass through the Cherry Creek Basin Research Natural Area where great examples of terrain carved by glacial action can be seen. There are two major creek crossings where waterproof boots would be preferential. Your guide will discuss wilderness management practices in the area and point out different wildlife habitats along the trail.

The trailhead can be accessed by turning north onto Westside Road (County Road 531) from Highway 140 at the Rocky Point Junction. Travel approximately 10 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road 3450 (Sign for Cherry Creek). The trailhead is at the end of the road, at a distance of 1.6 miles. There is no fee required to park at the trailhead.

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