Windy Valley is more or less a local secret in Curry County, being as it is many miles up gravel roads and west of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. It is accessed via the Snow Camp Trail, an old stock trail that ran to Windy Creek and then up below the Snow Camp Lookout to Snow Camp and Fairview Meadows, the terminus of the current trail. In places, the route is a deep rut from the passage of many livestock. The area was burned over by both the 2002 Biscuit Fire and the 2017 Chetco Bar Fire. Many Siskiyou endemic plants can be found along the trail.
As you descend to Windy Creek, the fire damage is restricted to the understory layers, and there’s a welcome canopy of Port Orford cedar, Jeffery pine, and knobcone pine. The Windy Valley Trail branches off before the Snow Camp Trail fords Windy Creek, and you pass a series of lush meadows under a full canopy of western red-cedar. Three logs, of which two seemed rather flimsy, bridged Windy Creek for access to the big meadow. I chose the sturdiest, but highest, log to make the crossing. There’s a memorial bench in a shady grove, a great spot to camp and watch out over the meadow.
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