Payne Peak Trail Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"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."