Payne Peak Trail

Alturas, California 96101

Payne Peak Trail

Payne Peak Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Payne Peak rises directly south of Cedar Pass in the Warner Mountains. Although it is usually accessed along a graded road from Cedarville, there is a lesser known trail that links the towns of Alturas and Cedarville and avoids the traffic of California 299. The trail leaves the paved county road east of Alturas and follows a graded dirt county road through private property before entering Modoc National Forest.

Once in the forest, the formed winding trail gradually climbs into the Warner Mountains. A side trail branches south to the Dry Creek Trailhead, and the main trail continues to travel west beneath the looming bulk of the rugged Sheep Rock, which rises immediately to the north. Special Attractions: Aspen viewing in fall; Rockhounding for petrified wood in Granger Canyon; Old hunting cabins at Pepperdine Camp; Panoramic views from Payne Peak. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs."

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Trail Information

Alturas
Nearby City
22.1
Distance
Shuttle
Trail Type
Moderate
Difficulty
3 hours
Duration
June to November, best in dry weather
Season
4,600 feet
Trailhead Elevation
7,600 feet
Top Elevation
Modoc National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Surprise Station, Payne Peak, Shields Creek, Warren Peak, Cedarville, Alturas
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018