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Trailblazers

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The Trans-Kalmiopsis Route, a 26-mile hiking trail through the wilderness, leads to stunning mountaintop views. Courtesy Siskiyou Mountain Club
Volunteers work to restore wilderness trails destroyed in 2002 wildfire 

In 2002, the half-million acre Biscuit Fire — the second-largest wildfire in Oregon history — scorched most of the 180,000-acre Kalmiopsis Wilderness, leaving the area’s trail network covered in tangled bird’s nests of fallen burnt trees with hundreds of dead snags dominating the horizons.

By the time Gabe Howe and his wife Jillian Stokes started visiting the area in 2006, the damage had only accelerated, with dozens of snags falling onto trails with each windy storm.

“We couldn’t stand the idea that these trails were being forsaken,” Howe recently told the Triplicate, describing his first encounter with the Kalmiopsis as “impassable trail conditions.” 


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