Johnson Butte Trail #1110


This ridge line trail provides access to a spur trail for Salamander Lake and passes above Valen Lake (no trail access) within the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. Both lakes are small and have no fish, but are interesting ecologically. Combined with the Upper Chetco Trail at Johnson Butte, a longer hike can be made, connecting to a different trailhead. Views of the surrounding area are quite good. The months of May and June offer the best opportunity to see the Kalmiopsis plants in bloom. Trail ends at junction with Upper Chetco Trail #1102.

The camp area at the junction of Upper Chetco Trail does not have water. There is a spring (look for sign), accessed by a way trail to the east of the ridge, about 1 mile south of Johnson Butte. Below the spring is a flat area suitable for camping.

Nearby car camping is available at Red Mountain Prairie which you drive past on the way to the trailhead. The site requires no fee, has a picnic table, fire ring and toilet.

Although Forest Service trail crews have been repairing and maintaining many of the affected trails following wildfires in 2002, 2017, and 2018, visitors should take into consideration (because of the substantially increased risk of fire-killed snags falling) that travel and camping may be more difficult and require greater concern for safety.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Visitors to the Kalmiopsis Wilderness should be advised that trail conditions may vary, depending on the level of maintenance performed in the years after the Biscuit (2002), Chetco Bar (2017) and Klondike (2018) Fires. Due to the scales of these fires, and the rugged and remote conditions in the Kalmiopsis, trail work, while ongoing, has not been performed on all the trails within the fire perimeters. Visitors may find downed trees across the trails, dense vegetation where shrubs have grown in after the fire, and unmarked trail junctions in some places. Please check with the Gold Beach or Wild Rivers Ranger Districts before your visit for trail conditions. Additionally, you can visit the Siskiyou Mountain Club's page, a local group who performs much of the trail maintenance in wilderness areas.
Open Season: Spring - Fall
Usage: Light-Medium
Restrictions: Wilderness regulations apply
Closest Towns:
  • Brookings, OR
Water: Not available. Surface water should be treated.
Information Center: Gold Beach Ranger District

General Information


Use Vulcan Lake / Johnson Butte Trailhead

General Notes:



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  Area/Length : 
6.3 miles

  Elevation : 
3,600 feet - 3,600 feet range