Marble Mountain Wilderness – Section 12
The Bigfoot Trail celebrates the amazing trees of the Klamath Mountains. Outside of Redwood Country in coastal Del Norte County, the trees don’t get much more impressive than in Section 12 of the Marble Mountain Wilderness.
The preservation of lower elevation forests is rare in California. Exceptions are in several national parks including Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite. In California’s Klamath Mountains, several wilderness areas hold amazing stands on lower-montane conifer forests–especially the Marble Mountains were both Wooley Creek and North Fork Salmon River are preserved into elevation as low as 2000 feet.
In the upper reaches of the North Fork Salmon River, the canyon is oriented North-South and also at the terminus of several ancient glaciation events. This combination of soil and light (not to mention lots of winter rain and snow) cooks up the perfect recipe for big trees.
What follows is a slide show of a few of the big trees along the Bigfoot Trail.
Now for the bad news
During the 2017 Wallowa Fire, a crew was stationed in the canyon. They have free reign to make decisions about management but they also get bored apparently. When this happens, poor choices are made. A series of large, live trees were dropped in the name of “hazard” when in reality they were “trophy” trees for the crew. Sadly, these scars will remain for centuries.