The Chanchelulla Wilderness is an extremely rugged landscape with rocky, sparsely-forested ridgetops, old-growth-dominated northern exposures and chaparral-draped south-facing slopes. Visitors to the area are greeted with outstanding views in all directions, including distant Mount Shasta, Lassen Peak, the Sierra Nevada, the Yolla Bollys, the Trinity Alps and beyond.
When the area was designated as wilderness in 1984, thousands of acres of ancient cedar, pine and fir forest, several cave-riddled outcrops of limestone and over four miles of Hayfork Creek (a key salmon and steelhead stream) were left out. These potential additions to the wilderness host many rare or endangered plant and animal species, including northern spotted owl, goshawk, fisher, marten, Peanut sandwort (a delicate white flower), and Stebbins’ madia (a striking yellow flower with a sage-like smell).
While most of the proposed additions are trackless, a single historic trail follows the Potato Creek drainage and enters the existing wilderness. Hayfork Creek has been rated as a very challenging class III-V kayak run by American Whitewater.