Boggs Mountain after The Valley Fire.
A typically serene forest view on Boggs before the fire
Boggs east slope from across Big Canyon before the fire
When you want to really change the face of a mountain fast you call on cosmic nature. Humans can clutter up things a bit, carve out little chunks, dig tunnels etc., but don't have what it takes to do a real number on it short of nuclear and even then...
Boggs Mtn. 3,740' is one of the local mountains where I live in the Cobb Mtn. area in Northern Ca.. This mountain was basically a big long totally forested ridge of a mountain. Took me a while and some local enquiries to find the one known viewpoint, a rocky outcrop that revealed about 20% of the overall view. This was a nice quiet place to hike unless you were near the shooting range area at the south peak going on occasionally. Hiking Boggs was more like walking through a rolling forest than hiking on a mountain.
Then came the Valley Fire. Conditions couldn't have been better for a raging blaze. Hot temps, fast shifting winds and super dry from record drought. The fire started in Cobb Valley and quickly tore up the northwest slope of Boggs taking out Hobergs Resort and the surrounding neighborhoods before sweeping over the rest of the mountain then out and down through Big Canyon and down to Middletown. The fire also got a very large portion of Cobb Mtn. 4,728' across the valley to the west.
I went on Boggs a few weeks after the fire when fire fighters were still up there and most of the barren burnt trees were still standing and some smouldering stump holes but you could see something of the views beyond. Over the last 10 months the loggers have been removing the trees wholesale. Selling what could still be used as lumber and clearing away a helluva lot of forest. Went back again last week. The slopes were torn up with earth mover tracks. Big piles of small trees and the basic chaos of an unfinished construction site in places. But the mountain is not the same. The views, which I knew would be good lived up to expectations. I only went to the north peak 3,540. The view down the length of the mountain puts it into another perspective. You can actually see where you are on the mountain. You have to "know" where you are on one of these tree covered suckers because you can't see where you are on the mountain! That's why getting lost is so easy. It's like driving in the California Central Valley when the tule fog is so thick you can only a handful of yards. It's liking navigating a labyrinth.
Now there is undergrowth coming up all over and some flowers as well.
It was unfortunately the destructive hand of nature that brought about the transformation but now you will have a whole different way to enjoy the mountain. Views rather than forest, at least for the next generation.
Boggs Mountain is Boggs Mountain State Forest and is currently closed with tree clearing still going on. Some of it is suppose to open again in October 2016.
More Images and descriptions
Northwest view from Boggs north peak.
Boggs from the east before the fire
East side of Boggs from Singing Rock across Big Canyon shortly after the fire. Most of what is not black is burnt brown and will be cleared away
The heavily forested Mayacamas Mtns. from Mt. St. Helena with Cobb Mtn. left and Boggs on the right.
Looking down the length of the mountain to the higher south peak 3,740' with Mt. St. Helena back right. Couldn't see zip views before. Instead of just seeing it and hiking over and up to it...you have to know everything about the forest roads that lead there and make sure you don't get side tracked on a side road. Plus a compass comes in handy.
!0 months later the vastly cleared area and remaining tree work.
Freshly burnt but not removed pines 2 weeks after the fire
Firefighters descending the north peak area a few weeks after the blaze.
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