Pathfinder | 61 pts
Been going here for 40 years. The area is recovering nicely from the 2002 Biscuit fire. And many areas did not experience intense fire. For example the whole Noble trail drainage has few fire killed trees. The massive Mardone trees are as beautiful as ever. And the Illinois R. still has some of the finest simming holes you'll find anywhere! And star gazing lying next to the river is timeless.
The road to the Briggs Ck trail head is in better shape than ever but moderate ground clearance (6-7") is still recommended.. We took a low clearance Audi w/ careful driving. Takes 1.5 hrs from Grants Pass to Briggs Ck. trail head. The trail (to Pine Flat at least) is in good shape with brush getting thick in some spots. The loss of tree cover has produced some poison oak growth but that can be avoided. Two of the creeks along the trail still have insect eating pitcher plants & beautiful water. Total bird numbers seem to be down but still saw hawks, peckers, otters, greebs, rabbits & bear & coyote scat. The deer population seems to have exploded w/ the increased grass.
Be aware of a few things. There are only 2 places along this trail where there are trails down to the river. It can get really hot here in late summer. Rattle snakes are present though we didn't see any this trip.