OverviewBoulder Peak is the highpoint of the rugged Marble Mountain Wilderness in Northern California. Boulder Peak is ranked 51st on the California prominence list with 2,899 ft of prominence. The 242,500 acre Marble Mountain Wilderness is a forested area and contains 89 lakes stocked with trout. Large streams have steelhead trout and salmon. Bear, deer and other wildlife are plentiful. Long recognized for its wild value, this region became a Primitive area in 1931, a Wilderness in 1953, and a part of the NWPS in 1964.
The area where the Marble Mountains now exist was once part of the flat bottom of an ancient, shallow ocean. Millions of years ago, violent volcanic upheavings and the erosive cutting action of rivers and glaciers combined to form the Marble Mountains. Marble Mountain itself is composed primarily of prehistoric marine invertebrates. Almost all the lakes of the Marble Mountains were formed by ancient glacial activity.
The Pacific Crest Trail runs through the wilderness for 32 miles. The Marble Mountain Wilderness features an unparalleled diversity of plant life found nowhere else in the state. More species of conifers (17) live in proximity here than any place else in the world. These beautiful trees include the Brewer's or Weeping Spruce, Incense Cedar, Dwarf Juniper; White, Subalpine, and Shasta Red Fir; Engelmann Spruce, Western Hemlock, Pacific Yew; and Whitebark, Knobcone, Foxtail, Lodgepole, Sugar, Ponderosa, and Western White Pine.
Getting ThereThis wilderness area is located at the heart of the Klamath National Forest of northwestern California and spills over the boundaries of four ranger districts within the Klamath National Forest: the Salmon River, Scott River, Happy Camp, and Ukonom. The Marble Mountain Wilderness is situated directly west of the towns of Fort Jones, Etna, and Callahan on California Hwy. 3, and west of California Hwy. 96.
To find the trailhead from Interstate 5 head to Yreka, California. At the south end of Yreka is an exit for California Highway 3. Take this exit and go west towards Fort Jones. Fort Jones is 16 miles from Yreka and at the south end of Fort Jones take a right turn on the paved Scott River Road. Follow this road for 14.1 miles (stay to the right where Quartz Valley Road forks to the left). There is a pointer for a road (44N45) to Indian Scotty Campground and Lovers Camp, turn left here and cross the Scott River. Continue on this paved narrow road past Indian Scotty Campground for 1.6 miles. Turn left on the gravel road 44N53Y and climb up 2.2 miles to the Boulder Creek Trailhead. Several cars can park at the trailhead. 2WD vehicles can get to this trailhead.
Red TapeAccess to this wilderness is relatively easy. No visitor permit is required but you will need a campfire permit.
Klamath National Forest
1312 Fairlane Road
Yreka, CA 96097-9549 Phone:
Happy Camp Ranger District
63822 Highway 96
P.O. Box 377
Happy Camp, CA 96039-0377 (530) 493-2243
FAX (530) 493-2212
TDD (530) 493-2894
Salmon River & Scott River Ranger Districts
11263 N. Highway 3
Fort Jones, CA 96032-9702 (530) 468-5351
FAX (530) 468-1290
TDD (530) 468-2783
Ukonom Ranger District
Highway 96 & Ishi Pishi Road
P.O. Drawer Box 410
Orleans, CA 95556-0410 (530) 627-3291
FAX (530) 627-3401
TDD (530) 627-3291
Red Tape Link
When To ClimbMost wilderness areas are closed due to weather conditions from October through mid-May or June. You may also contact the appropriate Ranger Station
after May 1st for actual/projected opening dates for high country recreation.
CampingThere are lots of places to camp in and around the Marble Mountain Wilderness area. The closest campground is at the bottom of the hill that leads up to the trailhead. Indian Scotty Campground is right on the Scott River and has 28 campsites.
If you want to backpack into the Wilderness and make this hike an overnight affair, there are unimproved campsites at the north end of Lower Wright Lake. If you want to climb a little further, there are sites at either end of Upper Wright Lake also.
Mountain ConditionsThis is a summer hike, June through October. This is also a Wilderness Area, therefore, snowmobiles are not allowed in the winter. Go to the following link for more information.
You can probably drive to the trailhead for this hike during the winter because the trailhead is at only about 3,800 ft. Beyond the trailhead you are on your own….
There are lots of black bears in this area, but they are usually very shy and run away as soon as they see you. If you have a bear phobia, be prepared to deal with them. They usually don’t ransack vehicles and campsites looking for goodies either. In the early mornings, it is not unusual to see fresh bear prints on the trail as you hike up towards the lakes.
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