Devil’s Garden Natural Area, Modoc National Forest
The Devil’s Garden Natural Area on the Modoc National Forest is located about six
miles due west of Goose Lake in northeast California. Actual mileage from the small
community of Davis Creek, located on US395, is about 26 miles and requires four wheel
The Natural Area was created around 1935 and consists of about 800 acres. It is one
of the few places on the Modoc National Forest where wood cutting is actually prohibited.
Because of its remote location, the Natural Area, at least the eastern part, shows
no recent wood cutting activity. This old growth juniper woodland contains some of
the oldest appearing western juniper we have seen in northeast California. Some trees
exhibit bark that appears to be up to three inches thick. The high number of dead
standing snags, dead wood retained aloft, fallen snags and dead wood on the ground
in this area indicate a very old western juniper woodland.
Unfortunately, the Natural Area is not fenced and is used extensively by large numbers
of feral horses and permitted cattle. The old junipers here have an upright growth
habit allowing the cows and feral horses to use them as thermal cover. Because of
this, the native vegetation around and underneath many old growth juniper trees has
been eliminated. We found only one example of Cusick’s stickseed. A couple of fires
within the last 10 to 20 years have destroyed quite a few old growth juniper in the
northeast and east central portions of the Devil’s Garden Natural Area.
Trunk bark on this old juniper is close to three inches thick.
The measuring stick has six inch increments.
This is a series of images of individual trees from the eastern part of the Devil’s
Garden Natural Area on the MNF. They were taken during the first week of September
These are images taken of groups of old western juniper within the Devil’s Garden
Natural Area on the MNF. The images were taken during the first week of September