|Cascade-Siskiyou's Scotch Creek (Photo courtesy, Pepper Trail)|
The Cascade and Siskiyou mountains converge in southern Oregon in a crush of towering Douglas fir and ponderosa pines, wildflower-filled meadows, deep valleys, and wide-open plateaus. Over 110 species of butterflies flutter around, sharing space with desert kangaroo rats, deer, elk, and bears. Wildlife observation, hunting, fishing, and cross-country skiing are a few of the ways to experience one of the country's newest national monuments.
Hike a leg of the Pacific Crest Trail along Cascade-Siskiyou's western boundary and you're treated to stunning vistas of Oregon's 9,495-foot Mount McLaughlin and California's snow-capped Mount Shasta. Ascend to the craggy Pilot Rock viewpoint to get a captivating view of the undulating patchwork of peaks, valleys, and forests.
For those hankering after some real solitude, saddle up and ride out to the Soda Mountain Wilderness Study Area for the best in primitive backcountry camping. If a rustic resort is more to your liking, Howard and Hyatt lakes adjacent to the western boundary share a 51-site BLM campground, 12-site primitive camp, trout fishing, restaurant, and a store. Rest assured, whether you experience Cascade-Siskiyou from a primitive or developed base camp, this biologically diverse mountain monument will impress.
One word of caution: Always be sure to respect all notices of private property; 32,000 acres of private land are interspersed in a checkerboard pattern across the 53,000-acre monument. Beyond that, it'll feel like it's your own private outdoor playground.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication