Mount Harkness

Chester, California 96020

Mount Harkness

Mount Harkness Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"From the lookout atop Mt. Harkness, snow-capped Lassen Peak and the rest of the peaks along ancient Mt. Tehama’s rim seem close enough to touch. The impressive vista extends far beyond the park boundary, encompassing an expansive section of the northern Sierra and southern Cascades. Although the climb is stiff, the trip is short enough that just about anyone in reasonable condition can manage it.

Unlike most fire lookouts today, the Mt. Harkness lookout is still staffed, so plan on a friendly welcome from the resident park employee. As with all high peaks, avoid the upper slopes when lightning threatens. Thanks to the fine network of connecting trails within the park, hikers with extra time and energy can alter their return by following a loop along the south shore of Juniper Lake back to the trailhead."

More Mount Harkness Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Classic Hikes in Northern California (The Mountaineers Books)
John R. Soares & Marc J. Soares
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"Of the major peaks in Lassen Park, Mount Harkness is the easiest climb, but it has a full complement of views that rivals those of its sibling summits. Most people do Harkness as a day hike, but if you’re set on backpacking you’ll find the occasional level patch among trees. If you do an overnighter, bring all your water and obtain a permit from the Loomis Museum at the park’s northwest entrance station, from the park’s Mineral office, or from the Almanor Ranger District in Chester."

Mount Harkness Trip Reports

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Climb a volcano. We hiked when beautiful lupine fields were blooming near the peak. We enjoyed the majestic vistas of Lassen Peak and the volcanic back country of the National Park. Juniper Lake sparkles at the base of Mount Harkness. Posted a video of the hike at

Mount Harkness Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
1,925 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Best: Early July to October
6,800 feet
Trailhead Elevation
Top Elevation
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Mount Harkness
Local Maps