Mt. Bailey

An Ancient Medicine Mountain

 

 

 Youxlokes was the name the indigenous people gave it. The mountain was holy to the Klamath tribe, and their priests would often go to its barren, rounded summit to feast and pray. In English, Youxlokes translates to Medicine Mountain. This is a fitting name for the dormant volcano’s long, ancient slopes, formed by fire but now steady, dark, and cold, like deep water.

Today this peak is more commonly known as Mt. Bailey. Its burly shoulders reach out in all directions, rising subtly from the hills and the distant mountain crests behind it. Mt. Bailey exists in a land where the horizon is tinged purple, gray, and the lightest shade of black; everything mountainous, cragged, and rolling.

At 8,368 feet, Mt. Bailey towers above Diamond Lake. Just on the other side of this lake is 9,184 foot Mt. Thielson, whose jagged top and strange, lightening-produced fulgurite mineral deposits have made it the more charismatic sibling. But Mt. Bailey, though sometimes overlooked, is remarkable in its own right. To reach its summit, all you need to do is follow the trail—no climbing skills required. At the top you’ll find views of Crater Lake and Mt. Shasta to the south, and Three Sisters and Diamond Peak to the north. And, of course, there’s also a great view of Mt Thielson, staring at you from across the water.  

Beauty can be found, not only in the mountain itself, but in the 18,000 acres of unspoiled wildlands at its feet. Porous soils around Mt. Bailey filter water for nearby springs. Vast tracts of undeveloped pine forests provide irreplaceable habitat for rare carnivores like wolves, flammulated owls, martens, fishers, great gray owls, and even elusive wolverines. This is a place where one can find silence and solitude; birdsongs, the crunch of fallen pine needles; cold, creaking wind. Few places like this remain in the Umpqua National Forest. Few places like this remain anywhere.

And, yet, Mt. Bailey’s forests are constantly scoured with the threat of logging. Wilderness protection would prohibit the destruction of this amazing landscape and ensure its pristine character would remain intact for generations to come. That’s why Mt. Bailey is included in the Crater Lake Wilderness Proposal. Help us preserve Youxlokes, and sign the petition today!