It may sound impossible, especially after 99% of Boggs Mountain burned, but there are still some trees there. In fact, the parking lot and Camp Calso still look the same as they did before the Valley Fire.
But as soon as we started to wander off, it became evident that Boggs was still a mountain, but not so much a forest anymore. A lot of trees have burned, and by a lot, I mean a lot. Many of the dead trees had been cleared by selective logging, and in much of the area replanted two-foot pines and firs dotted the hillsides.
But one of the huge perks that came with the Valley Fire is now when you visit Boggs, you will find spectacular views anywhere you look. I caught a glimpse of Clearlake, Hidden Valley, and Middletown, as well as great views of Cobb Mountain and St. Helena. Later, I was told by a Cal-fire worker, it’s possible to see all the way north to Mt. Lassen, east into the Sierras, and south down into the bay.
When you get there, be sure to grab a map at the entrance or, unless you’ve been there before, you’ll end up driving in circles. We decided to take a long loop out road 200 to 300, then wandered down road 500 to the loop on 542. Boggs is still being actively logged and cleared, so some of the roads can get sketchy. We have a full-sized truck and I had no issues. If you have a decent crossover-type vehicle you may have a chance as long as you know your limitations and don’t be stupid or wander too far down road 541. I was extremely grateful for my truck then. Because of the logging, many of the roads have been torn up a bit. So take care, especially after it rains. Come winter it’s going to turn into Mud Boggs Mountain.
Right now all the trails are still being developed, but there are at least seven miles of completely reconstructed ones ready to explore. I recommend that you take your tour of the mountain, enjoy the absurdly incredible views, then stop at the day use area on Rd. 500 and have a nice picnic lunch. Several tables sit under the trees that have been mercifully spared from the fire. Enjoy the cooler weather and make a day of it.
To get to Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest, turn on Forestry Rd. off of 175 between the towns of Cobb and Loch Lomond. It’s maybe a half-mile down the road.
To support Boggs Mountain, consider joining the Friends of Boggs Mountain. There’s lot’s of work to be done, and they could use your help. Visit them at boggsmountain.net.