Not sure about snow issues but in a recent NorCal redwood trip we did a quick over-nighter in the siskiyous and I was mightily impressed with the plant, geology, and topography variety found in the area (around Preston Peak--trailheads are off of 199 NW of crescent city). The rock was a variety of colors/minerals and quite different than the typical cascade 'lava' rock I'm use to. Then there are the trees, including some of the largest pine cones in the world (i think), I found it generally open like the east side of the cascades, which I appreciate. And the topography reminded me of the appalachians in size but with way more bare rock, open country, and cliffs than the majority of the appalachians (white mnts, main, areas of gsmnp withstanding)
not sure about snow there but it might be worth checking out. Klamath national forest. definitely not busy, no worry about people.