Pacific Crest Trail

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

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Pacific Crest Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Shasta County, Plumas County, and Tehama County, California. It is within Lassen National Forest, Lassen Volcanic Wilderness, and Lassen Volcanic National Park. It is 43.9 miles long and begins at 5,145 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 88.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 13,173 feet. The Drakebad hot spring can be seen along the trail. There are also marshes along the trail.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
Pacific Crest Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Shasta County, Plumas County, and Tehama County, California. It is within Lassen National Forest, Lassen Volcanic Wilderness, and Lassen Volcanic National Park. It is 43.9 miles long and begins at 5,145 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 88.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 13,173 feet. The Drakebad hot spring can be seen along the trail. There are also marshes along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Forest Route 32n12, 32n13ya, Noble Trail, 32n20, 32n42y and 32n96.
Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Lassen Volcanic National Park
Distance: 43.9
Elevation Gain: 13,173 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 5,145 feet
Top Elevation: 6,703 feet
Parks: Lassen Volcanic Wilderness
Elevation Min/Max: 4548/6703 ft
Elevation Start/End: 5145/5145 ft

Pacific Crest Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"End to end, the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) passes through some of the most rugged and scenic parts of Lassen Volcanic National Park. From the seclusion of Badger Flat and the Grassy Swale to the relatively busy, but lovely, Lower Twin Lake and Warner Valley areas, the route is relatively easy, delightful, and will no doubt tempt you to venture onto other segments at various points along its scenic route. From ground zero—where the PCT passes into the north part of the park near Hat Creek—the trail strikes off in an easterly direction, following the track originally laid down by pioneers traveling the Nobles Emigrant Trail in the 1850s and 1860s. The path, a doubletrack set by wagon wheels, rolls through easy and mostly flat terrain through thick stands of timber as it cruises east toward Badger Flat. There are few travelers on this part of the trail, which lends itself to meditative walking. Highlights: The pleasures of this trek are numerous, including the meadow at Badger Flat, the Twin Lakes, the Grassy Swale, and the hydrothermal features around Drakesbad."

"Hikers can certainly find shorter and easier routes to Little Willow Lake and Terminal Geyser, but this route along the famed Pacific Crest Trail offers a more solitary journey. In fact, solitude is nearly guaranteed between the Domingo Springs Trailhead and the Terminal Geyser junction.

Campsites are few and far between, and the ones that do exist are marginal at best, making this 8.2-mile section of the PCT better suited for a dayhike, provided a car shuttle can be arranged. Be forewarned: After early season, Little Willow Lake is not a recommended destination for anyone except those who enjoy mosquitoes and mud holes."

"Except for dedicated thru-hikers attempting to walk every step of the 2650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, very few hikers walk this 3-mile section of the famed route. Low elevations and intermittent shade mean this trip can be uncomfortably hot in the summer. However, a spring trip—when the high country is still buried under winter’s mantle, the temperatures are mild, and wildflowers are in bloom—can be quite delightful.

The scenery is superb, from the depths of Hat Creek Valley to the lofty aerie of Hat Creek Rim Overlook, with several volcanic summits visible from both near and far. Although the overlook can be reached by car, the view is more satisfying when you climb from the valley to the rim. Those who wish to avoid that climb should reverse the description and hike from the Mud Lake Trailhead to Subway Cave."

"Although a few staffed fire lookouts still operate in the southern Cascades, most notably the one atop Mt. Harkness, most lookouts have gone out of service. A 1987 forest fire destroyed the lookout on the edge of Hat Creek Rim, but the view from the rim itself is still spectacular, accessible via a 3-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Water is nonexistent and shade is almost as scarce, so carry water and hike during cooler hours. The hike is best done in the spring, when wildflowers are in bloom and the temperatures are well below their midsummer zenith. Fires have played a major role in shaping the Hat Creek area, and you will see such evidence along the trail."

"Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers, who usually arrive in Northern California during the height of summertime heat, have probably uttered more than one curse at sections of the famed 2650-mile trail that travel through lowland areas around Hat Creek Rim. There is very little shade here, and with relatively low elevations (4600 to 5100 feet) and little access to water, their hike through here in July and August can be brutal.

However, day hikers not tied to such a strict schedule will find this route a fine trip during other seasons, particularly in spring, when water courses through seasonal swales, an assortment of wildflowers line the path, and snow-capped peaks glisten in the abundant sunshine. No matter what the season, the mostly open terrain provides rewarding, wide-ranging views that span Hat Creek Valley, from Lassen Peak in the south to Mt. Shasta in the north.Fires have played a major role in shaping the Hat Creek area, and you will see such evidence along the trail."

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Jun 2018