Description - GENERAL INFORMATION: The name in Wintu dialect Chan was originally "sun" and means "rock"; chelulla means "black". The name was eventually changed to Chanchelulla. Traditionally Chanchelulla Peak was a sacred mountain, particularly for the Nor-El-Muk Band of Wintu Indians. They used this area for religious purposes, for food gathering and used the mineral springs at Deer Lick Springs on Browns Creek for healing purposes. They continue today with many of these practices.
The Chanchelulla Wilderness is located on the Yolla Bolla and Hayfork Districts of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest about three air miles to the northeast of the community of Wildwood and about ten air miles to the Southeast of the community of Hayfork in Trinity County California. The wilderness encompasses approximately 7,800 acres.
Elevation ranges from about 3,00 feet along Browns Creek in the northwest to the highest point, 6,400 feet, on top of Chanchelulla Peak. Terrain within the wilderness is a series of steep, highly dissected ridges which trend northeasterly. The major ridge is the boundary line between the Hayfork and Yolla Bolla Ranger Districts.
The Wilderness receives about fifty inches of precipitation annually, most in the form of snow above 4,000 feet elevation. Temperatures range from below freezing in the winter to the upper 80's and 90's in the summer. It is drained by tributaries to Crowns Creek to the east, Hayfork and Potato Creeks to the west and East Fork Hayfork Creek to the north. Both Hayfork and Browns Creek are an adromous fishery streams. Due to the steepness of the terrain, water sources are limited in the higher elevations.
Numerous species of wildlife and signs of their presence may be observed in the wilderness. Wildlife species that have been sighted include deer, black bear, fisher and mountain lion. Game birds such as quail and grouse may unexpectedly fly up and surprise you. Northern spotted owls, great horned owls and perhaps other species of owls also call the Chanchelulla Wilderness Area their home. Raptors or birds of prey, such as red-tailed hawk and northern goshawk, also may be spotted soaring above, perched on a tree limb or rock outcropping.
In comparison to other wilderness areas, Chanchelulla does receive light visitor use. Within the wilderness there is little evidence of human disturbance. From the barren peaks, however, management activities outside the wilderness are readily apparent. Traveling cross country, particularly from Midas Saddle to Deer Lick Springs, provides the user an excellent opportunity to maximize outdoor skills, strength and self reliance plus rugged the environment offers challenge and risk.
- The large variety in terrain and ecosystems that exist in this area provides for a wide range of recreational opportunities. From old historic Ranger Station Cabin Rentals, developed tent / RV campsite facilities with running water and toilets, to tent camping at various undeveloped sites, all the way to true wilderness in two Wilderness areas, a 40+ mile wild and scenic river corridor or numerous roadless areas. With this wide range of recreational opportunities, you should be able to find just the right one for your interests.
The Chanchelulla Wilderness is just one of the two Wilderness areas in the South Fork Management Unit that provides opportunity for wilderness hiking and camping.
The South Fork of the Trinity is a rich resource with its serene beauty and its many recreational opportunities, like the South Fork of the Trinity River Recreational Trail.
Recreation - The huge Shasta-Trinity National Forest offers a wide range of recreational activities. Some of these include hiking, backpacking, mountain climbing, horseback riding, camping, boating, fishing, sightseeing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.
Climate - Climate on the Shasta-Trinity varies greatly with elevation. Higher elevations tend to have much cooler temperatures and higher precipitation. Summer weather is usually hot and dry with lower elevation temperatures ranging from 85° - 100°+F and lows from 60° - 70°. Fall days are usually mild and warm, with cool nights. Winter is when most of the precipitation falls, averaging over 55 inches per year, much of it in the form of snow in the high elevations. Highs range from 40° - 60° and lows from 30° - 40° in the lower elevations. Spring weather is variable with many pleasant days.
The Chanchelulla Wilderness about three air miles to the northeast of the community of Wildwood.
Directions from Hayfork: The Chanchelulla Wilderness is located on the Yolla Bolla and Hayfork Districts of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest about three air miles to the northeast of the community of Wildwood and about ten air miles to the Southeast of the community of Hayfork in Trinity County California. The wilderness encompasses approximately 7,800 acres.