East Fork Willow Creek

Old Growth in East Fork Willow Creek.

Old Growth in East Fork Willow Creek.

I have wanted to hike around this forest for years. You can see this area from the highway and can access it pretty easily from the East Fork Camp ground when its open. I happened to have some extra time last month and hiked up into the forest a little west of the camp ground from the 299.

This is one of the largest pacific yew trees I have ever seen. I find it impressive that it is living right off the highway turnout.

This is one of the largest pacific yew trees I have ever seen. I find it impressive that it is living right off the highway turnout.

This forest has it all. Douglas-fir, tanoak, madrone, golden chinquapin, and more. The understory has the same species where light allows, as well as the occasional pacific yew. Sword fern and huckleberry make up the bulk of the ground cover. Eventually I saw a huge tree that appeared to be the biggest in the area.

After tromping around for a bit, one tree caught my eye.

After tromping around for a bit, one tree caught my eye.

I only has a few hours, and Id like to get in here someday and explore a little more thoroughly. The campground looks like a nice escape from a hot summer and even in this dry summer we are gearing up for, I bet the East Fork will keep water.

Forest Panorama

Forest Panorama

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4 comments

  1. East Fork of Willow Creek…..Ahhhh, one of my father’s favorite haunts. I haven’t been up there for years. The campground goes in and out of danger of being closed by the Forest Service. When the old, old highway ran in that area in the 1930’s, my dad said it took 4 hours to drive from Willow Creek to Blue lake. The reason? The roads had to traverse up to the top of the draw, cross a low water bridge and back down the other side. Parts of the newer road can be driven on Chezum Road across Redwood Creek and up to meet the New highway again. The new, new highway was built in 1972 and it’s like a super-highway compared to what we traveled in the 1960’s. Puking on every grade! Ha!

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