Rugged country awaits visitors to the Ishi Wilderness. Unlike many wilderness areas in Northern California, the low-elevation Ishi Wilderness in the Lassen National Forest rarely sees snow, making it a perfect destination for winter camping, hiking and fishing. Its dramatic landscape is crisscrossed with deep canyons, dotted with caves, marked by lava pillars and branded by basalt rock formations. The Yahi Yani Indians lived in the area for over 3,000 years until 1850, when white settlers arrived and annihilated most of the tribe. The few remaining members fled into the rocky country and disappeared until 1911, when the Yahi known as Ishi (simply “man” in the Yahi Yani language) emerged from the wilderness near the foothills of Lassen Peak. Today the paths used by the ancient Yahi Yani tribe are rough hiking and backpacking trails for visitors. Try the Mill Creek Trail for 6.5 easy miles, offering expansive views and many fishing and swimming holes. Wildlife in the area includes a population of coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, black bear, wild hog and the Tehama deer herd, the largest migratory heard in California.
WHERE: From Red Bluff, head east on Hwy 36. At Paynes Creek, turn right onto Plum Creek Rd. Stay on Plum Creek Rd. for several miles. Turn right (south) onto Ponderosa Way. Signs indicate a distance of 20 miles to the Black Rock Campground. (google map)
MORE INFO: Almanor Ranger District, 530-258-2141 | Wilderness.net