Lightning Trail to King Peak

Honeydew, California

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Few places in the world can boast a relief similar to that of the King Range, where the land rises from sea level to an elevation of 4,088 feet at the summit of King Peak in a mere 3 miles. Fortunately, hikers don’t have to conquer that entire amount, as the Lightning Trail starts at 2,180 feet and reaches the summit in only 2.7 miles. The summit offers a superb coast view, with forested slopes plunging precipitously toward the ocean. The view of the interior is also quite striking, with distant Lassen Peak visible on very clear days. Although this hike works best as a dayhike, backpackers can stay overnight at shady Maple Camp, where water is available year-round.

Lightning Trail to King Peak Professional Review and Guide

"Few places in the world can boast a relief similar to that of the King Range, where the land rises from sea level to an elevation of 4,088 feet at the summit of King Peak in a mere 3 miles. Fortunately, hikers don’t have to conquer that entire amount, as the Lightning Trail starts at 2,180 feet and reaches the summit in only 2.7 miles. The summit offers a superb coast view, with forested slopes plunging precipitously toward the ocean. The view of the interior is also quite striking, with distant Lassen Peak visible on very clear days. Although this hike works best as a dayhike, backpackers can stay overnight at shady Maple Camp, where water is available year-round."

Activity Type: Hiking, Trail Running
Nearby City: Honeydew
Distance: 5.4
Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: 3–5 hours
Season: Provided the access roads are in good condition and there is no snow on King Peak, this hike can be done at any time of year. However, in winter, the weather can be miserable and the roads may be impassable; summer offers a high probability of coastal fog, which makes clear days in spring or fall th
Local Contacts: King Range & Sinkyone Wilderness

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Jun 2018