Fish Creek Valley

Be sure to allow a little extra time to botanize in Fish Creek Valley on your way up to Rattlesnake Mountain. Or, if you’re looking for something less strenuous than a steep climb up Rattlesnake Mountain, an intersecting trail on the far side of the creek runs the length of the valley. Following meandering Fish Creek as it runs through the narrow meadow is a lovely way to spend a day. There’s a long season of bloom and a number of unusual plants, including one-flowered gentian (Gentianopsis simplex) along the creek banks and starry ladies’ tresses (Spiranthes stellata) in some boggy spots. Roadside botanizing along Fish Creek Valley Road (a dead-end, “cherry stem” road that was built just before the surrounding area became wilderness) is also productive, with an unusual population of explorer’s gentian (Gentiana calycosa) south of the trailhead. If you’d like to hang out in this area for more than a day, there’s a primitive campground farther down the road. And, opposite the trailhead that goes down into the valley and up Rattlesnake Mountain, there’s a trail that takes you over the ridge to Buck Canyon and Devil’s Slide.


Trail: 4.0 miles round trip from 2nd trailhead to summit (4900–5250′)
Location: southeastern Douglas County; Umpqua National Forest, Diamond Lake District
USGS Map: Fish Mountain; T28S.R3E.S25,35,36, R4E.S30

Habitats: meadow, wet meadow, creek, forest
Bloom: June to late August


Southeast route: Take Hwy 230 12.2 miles north of Hwy 62 or 11.6 miles southwest of Hwy 138 to Fish Creek Road 6560. Turn north on this gravel road and follow for 4 miles. Continue straight on what is now called Road 37 for another 0.5 mile. Veer left up Road 800, Incense Cedar Loop (sign for “RUD trailheads”). After 2.8 miles turn left of Fish Creek Valley Road 870. Drive 2.9 miles, passing 1st trailhead, and park at 2nd trailhead.

Plant Lists

based on 8 trips
plant list by genusplant list by family

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