Black Canyon Trail
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This scenic trail follows parallel to Owl Creek and Black Canyon
Creek for the length of the wilderness, descending from near
the summit of Wolf Mountain to the South Fork of the John Day
River. The generally moderate trail gradient passes through a
diverse mosaic of open ponderosa pine forest, dense mixed
conifer forest, small meadows, shrubby streamsides, and open
grassy slopes, ending in a narrow canyon between basalt cliffs.
Trail #820 connects with all other developed trails in the
wilderness, although some trail junctions are not marked.
Undeveloped trailside campsites are most suitable for small
groups. Some parties can make a one-way through trip in a
single day by shuttling vehicles, but less ambitious day trips are
generally more relaxing.
There are no bridges at stream crossings. Numerous wet fords
of Black Canyon Creek are required, especially on the
easternmost three miles of trail and at the trailhead crossing of
the South Fork of the John Day River. River crossing in spring
high water conditions can be extremely hazardous, and should
not be attempted. Travel cautiously, and be alert for close
encounters with rattlesnakes, black bear, mountain lions, and
other wildlife especially in dense vegetation. Trail is
maintained every year to primitive standards.
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