Grassy Knob Wilderness
The Grassy Knob Wilderness encompasses 17,200 acres of steep rugged terrain and protects rare stands of Port Orford cedar. The wood of this majestic fragrant tree is light, strong, and durable. Its use in planes during World War II and in Japanese construction has made it highly valued, but a fatal root fungus spread by logging trucks accounts for its rarity and astronomically high price. (As you travel around the area, you may notice the dead or dying cedars.)
During World War II, Japanese submarines used Cape Blanco Lighthouse as an orientation mark to aim planes loaded with incendiary bombs at the Coast Range. The Japanese hoped to ignite forest fires that would destroy the region’s Port Orford cedar trees, which were used to construct airplanes. Because of the perennial dampness, the results were negligible.
A short (0.8-mile) but moderately difficult trail leads to the summit of Grassy Knob.
Getting to the Grassy Knob Wilderness
To get here, follow U.S. 101 north of Port Orford about four miles, then go east on County Road 196 to Forest Service Road 5105, which ends at the trailhead. For more information, contact the Siskiyou National Forest, Powers Ranger District (541/439-3011).
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel