Modoc National Forest

Hiking

The Modoc has two National Recreation Trails: the 1.5-mile Blue Lake Trail and the 5.5-mile High Grade Trail.

Highgrade National Recreation Trail
The Highgrade National Recreation Trail is approximately 5.5 miles long. The elevation varies from 7,100 to 7,800 feet. The trail runs over a saddle on the west side of 8,250-foot-high Mt. Vida, which is the second highest peak in the North Warner Mountains. The trail passes through stands of white fir, ponderosa pine, lodgepole and western white pine and areas of open sagebrush. The Highgrade trail offers outstanding vistas of Goose Lake to the west and Surprise Valley to the east from various points along the trail. Much of the Highgrade Trail follows four-wheel-drive dirt roads. These roads receive only light motorized use, except during deer season. From the south end, only foot or bicycle use can access the trail as the first 1.5 mile is single-tread trail. Once on top of the ridge, the trail changes to double tread road that can be used by four-wheel-drive vehicles that have accessed the trail from the north. The trail gradient is mostly gentle. Maximum pitches are less than 10 percent. Historic mining cabins, ruins and test pits, all dating from the Highgrade gold rush, are scattered throughout the vicinity of the trail.

The North Star Basin Road
The North Star Basin Road is approximately 2.5 miles long. The elevation varies from 6,000 to 7,000 feet. This four-wheel-drive road accesses beautiful North Star Basin in the North Warner Mountains. The road receives only light motorized use, except during deer season. The trail gradient is mostly gentle, averaging less than 10 percent. The road surface changes from dirt to Cobbles at various locations. Historic mining cabins, ruins and test pits, all dating from the Highgrade gold rush, are scattered throughout the vicinity of the trail.

The Blue Lake National Recreation Trail
This trail encompasses the Blue Lake in the south Warner Mountains. It is 1.5 miles long. Beginning at the Blue Lake Campground, the trail continues around the west side of the lake to the boat ramp. At least 80 percent of the trail is shaded by picturesque white fir and massive ponderosa pine trees. Deer tracks on the trail often outnumber hikers' tracks. Tree squirrels, ducks, geese, loons, and hawks are frequently seen by hikers while walking the trail. The Blue Lake National Recreation Trail is closed to all motorized vehicles.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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