Butterfly Valley Botanical Area is 3.5 mi. n. on SR 70 to Blackhawk Rd. (.3 mi. n. of the Mt. Hough Ranger District office), w. on Blackhawk Rd. until the pavement ends, then approximately 6 mi. along a U.S. Forest service road to the botanical area. Designated as a protected area in 1976 due to its abundant and diverse plant life, this is a place that will appeal to nature lovers, photographers, botanists and conservationists. The U.S. Forest Service provides maps and information at specific mile markers along the route.
Foremost among the many varieties of native California flora in this region is the rare California pitcher plant, an unusual carnivorous plant also known as the cobra lily. Found only in scattered boggy areas in southern Oregon and northern California, the cobra lily features a snake-like leaf adaptation used to attract and capture insects, which are then digested to provide nutrients for the plant.
The greatest concentration of pitcher plants is in Darlingtonia Bog, about 6 miles west of the SR 70 turnoff; the peak blooming season is May through July. Fern Glen, at mile marker 3.9, is notable for its diverse fern species. Other species of carnivorous plants, as well as orchids and lilies, also grow in this wilderness area.
Note: Vehicles are permitted on designated roads only; Blackhawk Road is a narrow, winding mountain roadway but is passable in a passenger car. Plant collecting is prohibited.