This trail starts at the Buck Canyon Trailhead at the end of Forest Road 6560-190 off of Highway 230. There are no amenities at this trailhead.
At 0.3 miles from the trailhead, the #1046 reaches a junction with the Muir Creek Trail #1042
and soon thereafter makes two crossings of the West Fork of Muir Creek. These are rock-hops at low water but may be difficult or impassable at high water in the Spring.
The trail then turns west into Buck Canyon, passes a junction with the Humminbird Meadows Trail #1046A, and, 2 miles from the trailhead, enters Hummingbird Meadow, which is thick with corn lilies from late Spring to early summer. The trail continues on up the broad canyon, through more meadows, and past a junction with the Wiley Camp Trail #1046B
at about 3 miles. At 3.8 miles, it skirts the Devils Slide, a huge rock slide that covers half the canyon bottom.
At 4.3 miles, the trail starts climbing to a saddle southwest of Point 6206, and from there, begins a descent into Alkali Meadows. Mount Thielsen can be seen to the north from a few spots in this meadow. At 6.9 miles, it passes Alkali Camp at the head of Alkali Creek, then turns due south to a junction with the Meadow Creek Trail #1044
. From there, the #1046 swings to the west and contours along the edge of the wilderness to Hole-in-the-Ground and, shortly thereafter, to its end at a junction with the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Trail #1470