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Caribou Wilderness

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Immediately to the east of Lassen Volcanic National Park, vegetation in this Wilderness is similar to that of the Park. Jeffrey, lodgepole and ponderosa pines, Pinus jeffreyi, Pinus murrayana and Pinus ponderosa, together with white and red firs, Abies concolor and Abies magnifica, are the dominants in most of the forested area. In the higher elevation, mountain hemlock, Tsuga mertensiana, is common.

There are several meadows in the area. Chaparral, with chinquapin, Chrysolepis sempervirens, squaw carpet, Ceanothus prostratus, and manzanita, Arctostaphylos spp., occurs in much of the vegetated area. There is also some sagebrush, Artemisia sp. Over a quarter of the Wilderness is barren, or virtually so.

Animal life is typical. Black bear, Ursus americanus, is fairly common and the pine marten, Martes americana, occurs here.

Much of the Wilderness is underlain by volcanics of the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs; Caribou Peak is a basaltic plug of Pleistocene origin. The area is rich in glacial lakes and ponds, and there are numerous tills, moraines and other glacial features.

Integrity: There are trails in the Wilderness and it was grazed. The Wilderness designation was made in 1962.

Use: Research, educational, present.

April 1981

Inventory of California Natural Areas
Revision © 2009 Steven Louis Hartman

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