Gearhart Mountain Wilderness

Gearhart Mountain Wilderness

Infobox_protected_area | name = Bridge Creek Wilderness
iucn_category = Ib

caption =
locator_x =
locator_y =
location = Oregon, USA
nearest_city = Bly, Oregon
lat_degrees = 42
lat_minutes = 30
lat_seconds = 46
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 120
long_minutes = 51
long_seconds = 44
long_direction = W
area = convert|22823|acre|km2|0|sing=off
established = 1964
visitation_num =
visitation_year =
governing_body = U.S. Forest Service

Gearhart Mountain Wilderness is a wilderness area located within the Fremont National Forest in Lake County, south-central Oregon. This area was established in 1943 as a Wild Area and designated as Wilderness with the Wilderness Act of 1964. In 1984, an additional convert|4144|acre|km2|0|sing=off were added for a total of convert|22823|acre|km2|0|sing=off. The Wilderness is entirely within the boundaries of Bly Ranger District. [ Gearhart Mountain Wilderness, Oregon] - GORP]

Gearhart Mountain was named for James P. Gearhart or William H. Gearhart; two brothers who raised and traded cattle in the area from about 1873 to 1882. [cite book
last = McArthur
first = Lewis A.
authorlink =
coauthors = Lewis L. McArthur
title = Oregon Geographic Names
origyear = 1928
edition = Seventh Edition
year = 2003
publisher = Oregon Historical Society Press
location = Portland, Oregon
id = ISBN 0-87595-277-1 (trade paperback), ISBN 0-87595-278-X (hardcover)


Gearhart Mountain Wilderness is in the desert/coastal transition zone of south central Oregon on the borders of Lake and Klamath Counties. At convert|8364|ft|m|0|sing=off Gearhart Mountain is the highest point in this Wilderness of high mountain meadows, cirques, and glacial valleys. [ Gearhart Mountain Wilderness] -] Views from the top of Gearhart Mountain range from Steens Mountain to the east, the Cascade peaks to the west, Mount Lassen in California to the south, and the Three Sisters (Oregon) in the north. The headwaters of numerous small streams lie at the base of many of the cliffs and ridges.


The Gearhart Mountain Wilderness area is part of a continuous dry pine forest covering the transition zone. Differences in species are primarily dependent on water availability. The lower slopes tend to be dominated by white fir with a mix of ponderosa pine, whitebark pine, and lodgepole pines, while the higher elevations are covered with pure stands of lodgepole and whitebark pine. The meadows scattered throughout the Wilderness are characterized by lush green ground cover, stands of aspen, and a multitude of wildflowers. Gearhart Mountain Wilderness does have some stands of old growth forest.


A variety of wildlife can be found in Gearhart Mountain Wilderness. These include deer, coyote, elk, black bear and mountain lion, and a wide variety of birds such as woodpecker, chickadee, finch, jay, junco, raven and hawk. Rainbow and brook trout inhabit the lower levels of some of the area streams, and Blue Lake is stocked yearly with Rainbow Trout.


Popular recreational activities in Gearhart Mountain Wilderness include hiking, camping, swimming, fishing, wildlife watching, and horseback riding. Approximately convert|20|mi|km|0|sing=off of established trails cross the Wilderness, including the popular Gearhart Mountain trail. [ Fremont-Winema National Forests] - Gearhart Mountain Wilderness]


ee also

* List of Oregon Wildernesses
* List of U.S. Wilderness Areas
* List of old growth forests


External links

* [ Fremont-Winema National Forests] - Gearhart Mountain Wilderness

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