Even though it was obvious that the fire had burned really hot, taking out whole hillsides of trees, the vegetation was coming back well. The oak trees were already several feet tall, and colorful maples dotted some of the areas. A big section of ponderosa pines had been protected from the fire. Those that did burn may produce the next crop of ponderosa pines, as they require fire in order for their seeds to regenerate.
We eventually turned around and came back to the lower campground. We found an old picnic structure.
Behind it was an impressive amphitheater. I let the kids play in the leaves and use their imagination while I wandered around taking photos.
I'm not sure who uses this amphitheater, but I'd sure like to be there for some performance.
The leaves were spectacular.
I was a bit surprised to see signs announcing bears in the area. I guess the acorns help provide enough food for them.
The campground host has a cabin. It looks like a great place to spend the summer. We will definitely be adding this canyon to our summer camping list.
The canyon is located in the Fishlake National Forest. Activities include camping; fishing (for introduced trout); rock climbing; hiking Fool Creek Peak, the highest peak in the Canyon Range; wood-gathering; hiking Devil's Den memorial trail; and checking out the fire rehabilitation. When you drive the road, there are places where they tell you not to stop for the next mile because of flood damage, and when you see how they had to bulldoze through all the debris to reopen the road, you don't slow down too much, even on a sunny day!
It's so fun discovering places that aren't too far from home and yet are so interesting.