Plumas National Forest

Hiking

The following hiking trails are organized alphabetically by Ranger District, culminating with descriptions of the section of the Pacific Crest Trail that runs through Plumas NF. In addition to these trails, the 3.8-mile, ecologically diverse Feather Falls National Recreation Trail terminates at the sixth largest waterfall in the United States. Also of note is the 7.5-mile Hartman Bar trail—another National Recreation Trail. For up-to-date weather and trail condition information and trail maps, contact the appropriate Ranger District Office.

Beckwourth Ranger District
In the Lakes Basin, overnight camping is allowed in the vicinity of Smith Lake, Grass Lake, Wades Lake, Rock Lake, and Jamison Lake. Most campsites are utilized during summer weekends. Overnight camping is prohibited at Hidden, Lily, Grassy, Long, Mud, Silver, Cub, Little Bear, Big Bear, and Round Lakes because of the numerous day visitors to the area. Motorbikes are prohibited on all trails. Horse use is permitted.

Red Fir Nature Trail Elevation 7,100 Feet
The trail head is located on the dirt road leading to Mills Peak Lookout. An easy, level dirt trail leads 0.4 mile past informative signs interpreting the changes occurring in a red fir stand.

Frazier Falls Trail Elevation 6,200 Feet
The trail head is located on the paved old Gold Lake Road. A gentle trail leads 0.5 mile to a scenic fenced overlook of Frazier Falls (100-foot fall).

Round Lake Elevation 6,600 Feet
The trail head is in the parking lot of Gold Lake Lodge. A well maintained trail leads 1.7 miles to Round Lake where a steep rock trail climbs steadily 0.7 mile to a 4WD trail. A rough and rocky 0.9-mile trail connects Round Lake with Silver Lake. Horse use is okay but not advisable on the trail between Round and Silver Lakes.

Bear Lake-Gold Lake Lodge Trail Elevation 6,600 Feet
The trail head is in the parking lot of Gold Lake Lodge. A well maintained trail follows a closed road 0.7 mile to Big Bear Lake. Horse use is okay.

Bear Lakes Trail Elevation 6,300 Feet
The trail head is in Lakes Basin Campground. A well maintained trail climbs 0.7 mile to Big Bear Lake. An additional 0.5 mile leads past Little Bear Lake and Cub Lake to the Silver Lake Trail.

Silver Lake Trail Elevation 6,300 Feet
The trail head is at Lakes Basin Campground. A well maintained trail with some steep, rocky portions leads 2.3 miles past a spur trail to Long Lake (1/2 mile) and Silver Lake (1 mile) to a 4WD trail.

Long Lake Trail Elevation 5,800 Feet
The trail head starts at Gray Eagle Lodge and climbs gradually 2.7 miles past the Lily Lake Trail and Grassy Lake Trail intersection and Long Lake to the Mount Elwell Trail. Horse use is okay to Long Lake but not advised beyond Long Lake because of an unstable rock slide area.

Mud Lake Trail Elevation 6,500 Feet
The 1.2-mile trail connects the Silver Lake Trail with the Mt. Elwell Trail.

Mount Elwell Trail Elevation 6,700 Feet
The trail leaves the Smith Lake-Gray Eagle Lodge Trail and climbs steadily approximately 3 miles to Mount Elwell (7,812 feet), then descends 3/4 mile to the Long Lake Trail junction and continues another 3/4 mile to a 4WD trail. This trail receives light use.

Smith Lake Trail Elevation 5,800 Feet
The trail head is on the road leading to Gray Eagle Lodge. A well maintained trail climbs steadily 0.8 mile past the Mount Elwell Trail junction to Smith Lake. The trail extends on another 0.9 mile to the Jamison Creek Trail.

Grassy Lake Trail Elevation 6,200 Feet
The trail head is in Lakes Basin Campground. The trail leads 0.8 mile past Grassy Lake and crosses Gray Eagle Creek to the Long Lake Trail.

Lilly Lake Trail Elevation 6,400 Feet
The trail head leaves the Gold Lake Road and leads 0.3 mile past Lily Lake and crosses Gray Eagle Creek to the Long Lake Trail.

Fern Falls Overlook Elevation 6,200 Feet
The trail head is on the Gold Lake Road. A 0.1-mile trail crosses Gray Eagle Creek and leads to a scenic overlook of Fern Falls.

Gray Eagle Creek Trail Elevation 5,800 Feet
The trail head is on the road to Gray Eagle Lodge just west of Gray Eagle Creek. The trail descends along the west side of Gray Eagle Creek for 2 miles where it joins a 4WD road that goes through mostly private land for 2 miles to the town of Graeagle. Gray Eagle Creek has very steep and unstable banks along this section.

Little Jamison Creek Trail Elevation 5,200 Feet
The trail head is at Jamison Mine in Plumas Eureka State Park. The trail climbs steadily the 3.8 miles to the Pacific Crest Trail past the Smith Lake, Grass Lake, Jamison Lake, and Rock Lake Trail Junctions. The trail is generally well maintained but some rough and steep segments exist.

Jamison and Rock Lake Trails Elevation 6,000 Feet
The trail leaves the Little Jamison Creek Trail and climbs steadily 0.8 miles to Jamison Lake. At Jamison Lake, a 1/4-mile trail leads to Rock Lake.

Mount Washington Trail Elevation 7,000 Feet
The trail leaves the Little Jamison Creek Trail near its junction with the Pacific Crest Trail and extends southerly 1.9 miles along the ridge top to near the top of Mt. Washington. Horse use is not recommended.

Jamison-Wade Lake Connector Elevation 6,500 Feet
A 1.2-mile trail connects the Jamison Creek Trail, near Wade Lake, with the Jamison Lake Trail below Jamison Lake. The trail has several steep and rocky sections.

Smith Creek Trail Elevation 5,100 Feet
The trail head is difficult to find because it is in an area presently being subdivided. The trail leads 2.4 miles along Smith Creek to the Smith Lake Trail.

La Porte Ranger District

Butte Bar Trail Elevation 3,800 Feet
The trailhead is at the bottom of a long, narrow, winding road 8.7 miles in length. The trail is moderately steep, and joins the Pacific Crest Trail after approximately 1 mile. After following the PCT for 0.5 mile you will reach the Middle Fork of the Feather River. Good campsites along the river. NOT Recommended for horses. ATVs & motorbikes PROHIBITED.

Cleghorn Bar 4x4 Trail Elevation 5,000 Feet
Take the Sawmill Tom Road from the Quincy-La Porte Road to the 4WD road leading to Cleghorn Bar. The 4WD road is a moderately difficult route for motorbikes and 4-wheel drive vehicles and impassable by 2-wheel drive vehicles. The 4-wheel drive portion is approximately 4.4 miles to Cleghorn Bar Campground. RECOMMENDED for horses, ATVs, motorbikes, and 4-wheel drive vehicles.

Feather Falls National Recreation Trail Elevation 2,400 Feet
A paved road leads to this trailhead from Lumpkin Road, 1 mile west of the town of Feather Falls. A well maintained loop trail extends 3.8 miles to the unique and breathtaking overlook of Feather Falls. A pleasant trail in spring and fall but hot in summer. Do not leave the trail in the vicinity of the overlook or approach the precipitous falls too closely. Not recommended for horses. Year-round access. ATVs & motorbikes PROHIBITED.

Graves Cabin Trail Elevation 2,100 Feet
This trail starts at Hanson's Bar and parallels the Middle Fork of the Feather River. The trail is in fair condition and extends 2 miles upstream to the Graves cabin site and continues 1 mile to the Kennedy cabin site. Good campsites along the river. NOT RECOMMENDED for horses. ATVs & motorbikes PROHIBITED.

Hanson's Bar Trail Elevation 4,200 Feet
The trailhead is approximately 25 miles northeast of the town of Feather Falls. Vehicles should park in the wide flat area where the road narrows. The 3 miles of trail are well maintained to Hanson's Bar. Good campsites at trail's end. Recommended for horses and hikers.

Hartman Bar National Recreation Trail Elevation 5,000 Feet
The trailhead is approximately 31 miles northeast of the town of Feather Falls. The 4-mile trail is maintained and descends at a gradual grade for the first 2 miles. The next 2 miles are steeper with a series of switchbacks that descend to Hartman Bar and Dan Beebe Campground. Not recommended for novice horse riders. ATVs & motorbikes PROHIBITED.

Lakeshore Trail Elevation 5,100 Feet
This 13.5-mile trail travels all the way around Little Grass Valley Reservoir. Footpaths and access ways are located immediately adjacent to the campgrounds on the east and south shores. Recommended for horses on the north shore, and mountain bikes (entire trail). Trail drops below high-water mark where private land intersects. ATVs and motorbikes PROHIBITED.

Minerva Bar Trail Elevation 5,600 Feet
The road to the trailhead leaves the Quincy-La Porte Road along the Hogback. Go north past Fingerboard Spring 1.1 mile and turn right on the Belfrin Mine Road; go 1.7 miles to the junction, turn left at the junction, and go 0.3 mile, then stay left for 0.1 mile to the trailhead. The last mile is very brushy. The 3-mile trail is difficult to follow in the first half mile and narrow in places. A pleasant hike. NOT RECOMMENDED for horses. ATVs & motorbikes PROHIBITED.

Pacific Crest Trail
Four segments are located on the La Porte Ranger District. Refer to the Pacific Crest Trail section of this page for details.

Stag Point 4x4 Trail Elevation 5,600 Feet
To reach the trailhead from La Porte, go to the Tamarack Flat turnoff; then continue 2.8 miles to the Stag Point turnoff and 2.5 miles to the trailhead. The 4-wheel drive trail extends 2.5 miles, and ends near the Middle Fork Feather River. The trail is narrow, steep, rough, and rocky with many sharp turns. Campsites at trail's end. RECOMMENDED for horses, 4-wheel drives, ATVs and motorbikes.

Milford Ranger District

Dixie Mountain Trail
This trail is 1.1 miles long and offers excellent views of the Frenchman Recreation Area. At the southern end you are only about 1/4 mile from Dixie Mountain Lookout, which is a definite must-see for its spectacular views. At the present time there are two trail heads; one is at the end of Forest Development Road (FDR) 25N03 (Lookout Creek Road) with parking for three or four vehicles. At this point there is a sign indicating the trail, which starts at an elevation of 7,340 feet. The other trail head is located about 1/4 mile before the end of FDR 24N02Y (Dixie Mountain Road). At this point there is a sign indicating the trail, at an elevation of 8,040 feet with limited parking available along the road. If parking your vehicle along the road, PLEASE do not block the road. This trail is also recommended for horses and mountain bikes, but because it is not well known, you will probably not meet anyone else on it during your visit.

How to Get There
From State Highway 70 at the town of Chilcoot (5 miles east of Hallelujah Junction) follow the signs north from Chilcoot on State Highway 284 towards the Frenchman Recreation Area. It is 8 miles to the Frenchman dam. At the dam follow FDR 25N11 on the west side of Frenchman Reservoir about 6 miles north to the junction with FDR 24N02Y. At this point you may go west on FDR 24N02Y about 7 miles to the trail head, or continue north on FDR 25N11 another 2 miles to the junction with FDR 25N03.

Oroville Ranger District

Little North Fork Trail Elevation 4,100 Feet
This trail is reached by taking a rough single-lane road to Little North Fork Campground and then walking across the bridge and up the road to the trail intersection. It extends 3 miles to the Robinson Mine. The first two miles are relatively level but the last mile rises rapidly. RECOMMENDED for horses.

Marble Creek Trail Elevation 4,006 Feet
The trailhead is on 22N29 on the east side of Marble Creek. The trail is 5 miles long.

Big Bald Rock Trail Elevation 3,100 Feet
The trailhead is at the former Big Bald Rock Picnic Area. The trail is approximately 1/2 mile of easy walking with a scramble over the rocks near the top. NOT RECOMMENDED for horses or motorbikes.

Wildcat Creek Trail Elevation 4,760 Feet
The trailhead is on the road to Bear Ranch Hill (23N30). The trail is for fire protection but does provide access to Wildcat and Grizzly Creek for fishers.

Mill Creek Trail Elevation 5,170 Feet
The trailhead is located approximately 1/2 mile west of Whitehorse Campground on the Bucks Lake Road. The trailhead and first mile of the trail is on P.G.& E. Company land. This is a relatively flat trail extending 5.5 miles to the intersection with the PCT. The Mill Creek Road is intersected near the midpoint. Several streams are crossed. Camping is permitted along the eastern shore of Bucks Lake. RECOMMENDED for horses. Motor vehicles PROHIBITED.

Three Lakes Trail Elevation 6,200 Feet
The trailhead is located at Lower Three Lakes. A narrow, very rough road with turnouts leads 13 miles from Lower Bucks Lake to the trailhead. A pleasant trail climbs gradually 1 mile to Upper Three Lakes. RECOMMENDED for horses. Motor vehicles PROHIBITED.

Three Lakes PCT Tie Elevation 6,200 Feet
This trail utilizes the above mentioned access and trailhead. It is an easy mile to the Pacific Crest Trail. RECOMMENDED for horses. Motor vehicles PROHIBITED.

Grizzly Forebay Trail Elevation 4,300 Feet
The main road to this trailhead goes past Lower Bucks Lake. It is a pleasant 1.25-mile trail extending along the north shore of Grizzly Forebay to the inlet of Grizzly Creek. A few very short steep pitches exist. NOT RECOMMENDED for horses. Motorbikes PROHIBITED.

Grizzly Forebay Gauging Station Trail Elevation 4,200 Feet
Trailhead parking is at the Forebay Trail trailhead. This trail leaves the road west of the parking area descending to the dam and descending gradually 1/3 mile to the Stream Gauging Station. NOT RECOMMENDED for horses. Motorbikes PROHIBITED.

Kellogg Lake Trail Elevation 6,300 Feet
This trail leaves the PCT and proceeds 1/2 mile to Kellogg Lake. NOT RECOMMENDED for horses. Motorbikes PROHIBITED.

Quincy Ranger District

FEATHER RIVER CANYON AREA TRAILS

BEN LOMOND
Trailhead is located at Chips Creek on Hwy. 70, approximately 25 miles from Quincy Ranger Station. This trail climbs 4,000 feet in 4.8 miles, a strenuous hike with spectacular views near the top. Destinations include Ben Lomond Peak (6,453 elevation) and the High Lakes Area. Heavy brush field near the top. Hiking time is 7 hours to Ben Lomond Peak, 9 hours to Chips Lake.

INDIAN SPRINGS
Trailhead is located at the Eby Stamp Mill Rest Area across from Belden, approximately 25 miles from Quincy Ranger Station on Hwy. 70. Destination is Indian Springs (6.5 miles) with excellent campsites; a strenuous hike. Trail time is 5 to 6 hours to the springs.

YELLOW CREEK
Trailhead is located to the right of Eby Stamp Mill Rest Area across from Belden, approximately 25 miles from Quincy Ranger Station on Hwy. 70. This is an enjoyable creekside trail (1.4 miles), dead ending in a box canyon. Families will enjoy this trail for short day hikes and fishing. Hiking time is 1 1/2 hours, an easy hike.

CHAMBERS CREEK
Trailhead is located across from Indian Jim School, approximately 40 miles from Quincy Ranger Station on Hwy. 70. Hiking time is 2 to 3 hours to the bridge and 6 hours to the top; 4.1 miles. A strenuous, but beautiful hike. Refreshing waterfalls at the bridge. It connects with trails on the Lassen N.F.

KELLOGG LAKE - (Historical)
For further information contact Quincy R.D.

MIDDLE FORK AREA TRAILS (Access-Bucks Lake Rd)

NO EAR/ODDIE/MCCARTHY BAR TRAILHEAD LOCATIONS
From Quincy take Bucks Lake Road, west, 4 miles to Slate Creek Road (24N28). Turn left, drive 8.8 miles passing Dean's Valley Campground to ridge top. Look for signs. From here take the left fork (23N99), go 1.5 miles to trail signs for Oddie and No Ear Bar trails. The McCarthy Bar trailhead is to left of sign 1 mile farther. Four-wheel drive is recommended.

NO EAR BAR
Trail is approximately 1.5 miles long, very strenuous with a 1,500' descent to the river. Hiking time is 1 1/2 hours in, 2 to 3 hours out. Fishing is good on the wild river. Campsites are few. MOTOR VEHICLES PROHIBITED ON TRAILS.

ODDIE BAR
Trail is approximately 1.3 miles long and strenuous. Good fishing and swimming. Much of the trail is through open country with mid-day temperatures rising over 100 degrees. Hiking time is 1 hour to river, 3 hours out.

McCARTHY BAR
Trail is approximately 1.7 miles long and strenuous. Campsites are few. Fishing is good. Beautiful views. Hiking time is 1 1/2 hours in, 2 1/2 hours out.

MIDDLE FORK TRAILS (Access from LaPorte Rd)

LOST CABIN SPRINGS/BACHS CREEK TRAILHEAD
Through Quincy heading east, go 3.9 miles to LaPorte Road turn-off. Turn right, drive 7.3 miles, make a right turn onto graveled road (23N92). Sign states Lost Cabin Springs and Middle Fork Trails. Proceed 2.1 miles to Y, take left fork (23N92A) for 1 mile to Lost Cabin Springs. Follow signs to trailheads. Four-wheel drive is recommended.

LOST CABIN SPRINGS
Trailhead is located down road from Lost Cabin Springs. This trail is 0.8 miles long and extremely steep on southern exposed slopes. Limited camping at river. Good fishing and swimming. Hiking time is 45 minutes in, 1 1/2 hours out. CAUTION: Watch your footing.

BACHS CREEK
Trailhead is located down road from Lost Cabin Springs. Trail is 2.4 miles. Destination is Bach Creek. It is a narrow trail, rigorous hiking with steep ground. Hot in summer! Hiking time is 1 1/2 hours in, 3 hours out.

SILVER LAKE AREA TRAILS (Access-Bucks Lake Rd)

GOLD LAKE/GRANITE GAP TRAILHEAD LOCATIONS
From Quincy go west 9.2 miles on Bucks Lake Rd, then through Meadow Valley. Turn right on graveled road (24N29X). Note Silver Lake sign. Proceed 6.4 miles to campground and lake.

GOLD LAKE TRAIL
Trailhead is located at Silver Lake Campground. A 1.5-mile trail. It is suitable for families, an easy day hike. Swimming and fishing at the lake. Campsites are limited. Trail accesses 21,000-acre Bucks Lake Wilderness and Pacific Crest Trail.

GRANITE GAP
Trailhead junction is marked by sign on Gold Lake Trail. Easy, but steep trail, 0.9 miles. Accesses Mud Lake, Rock Lake, and PCT where Granite Gap terminates. Campsites at Mud Lake, limited at Rock Lake. Fishing and swimming.

Pacific Crest Trail
Congress directed that the Pacific Crest Trail, which spans 2,400 miles, be continuous from Mexico to Canada and, "be so located as to provide for maximum outdoor recreation potential and for the conservation and enjoyment of the nationally significant scenic, historic, natural, or cultural qualities of the area through which it passes" and, "shall be designed to harmonize with and complement any established multiple-use plans for that specific area in order to insure continued maximum benefits from the land" (P.L. 90-543, October 2, 1968). Use of vehicles including motorbikes along the PCT is prohibited by this law. The Pacific Crest Trail extends across the Plumas National Forest for about 75 miles, crossing two major canyons (the Middle Fork and North Fork of the Feather River). Elevations range from 2,400 to 7,000 feet. Mid-June is the earliest that it is feasible to hike in this area as snow is still prevalent into mid-June and streams are high. Fall storms can be expected anytime after mid-October.

The Belden Campground and Belden Post Office are immediately adjacent to the PCT in Belden, California, 95915. Stores with very limited supplies are at Belden, Bucks Lake (3 miles from PCT), Meadow Valley (7 miles from PCT), Graeagle (8 miles from PCT), and La Porte (9 miles from PCT). Quincy (15 miles from PCT) has a post office, several supermarkets, Laundromats, medical facilities, shoe repair, etc. Supplies can be mailed to the post office with a note on the package to hold it for you.

Water is scarce from Nelson Creek to the Middle Fork of the Feather River and from Belden to Three Lakes, so you should carry a canteen. All water is untreated, which means you should boil or treat water that you drink along the way.

Rattlesnakes may be found all along the trail, but be especially watchful between Belden and Three Lakes and between Lookout Rock and Bear Creek. Trout are available in the larger streams. A California Fishing License is required.

A California Hunting License is required to hunt most game species. There are no restrictions on dogs. In the interest of not disturbing wildlife or other hikers, dogs should be under control at all times. Motorized vehicles are prohibited.

A Wilderness Permit is not required to cross the Plumas National Forest. A campfire permit is required and may be obtained at any Forest Service Ranger Station. The risk of fires is very high in the deep canyons because of the dry grass and leaves. Campfires must be constructed in a safe location with a 5-foot clearance of duff around them. Smoking is prohibited while walking and only allowed in areas clear of duff and vegetation.

PACIFIC CREST TRAIL NORTH SEGMENT
Starting at the Lassen National Forest Boundary and going south through Bucks Lake Wilderness to Bucks Summit, the segments are:

Chips Creek - Lassen National Forest Boundary to Highway 70: It is approximately 4.5 miles from the Lassen National Forest boundary southerly down Chips Creek to Highway 70. The Trail descends gradually along Chips Creek, then leaves the Creek turning eastward and stays on the canyon side above Highway 70 before descending to the Highway at the Ebbe Stamp Mill.

Belden - Highway 70 to Union Pacific Railroad Tracks: It is approximately 0.5 mile from the Ebbe Stamp Mill on Highway 70 past the Belden Store to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The Ebbe Stamp Mill is a roadside rest and mining exhibit operated and maintained by P.G.& E. Drinking water spigots, picnic tables and grills, vault toilets, and parking spaces are provided.

Proceeding east on Highway 70, Yellow Creek is crossed on the Highway Bridge affording a good view of Belden Powerhouse. The County Road to Belden intersects with the Highway at this point and proceeds south across the North Fork of the Feather River on a single-lane bridge. A gas station, bar, store, and post office, along with a number of cabins and houses exist in Belden. Proceeding west the County Road passes the Forest Service's Belden Campground and meets the Western Pacific Railroad Tracks. The land is mostly private with some National Forest intermingled.

The store and post office are major supply points for long-distance hikers. A register is maintained at the post office to record their passage and thoughts. The Belden Campground has drinking water, stoves, tables, and flush toilets and is generally open May 15 through September 15. It is not equipped for equestrian use. Just west of the campground is a large dirt parking area in which trail users usually park. It is a trail head for Bucks lake Wilderness established in 1984.

The Union Pacific Railroad has a mainline and a siding where the trail crosses the tracks. An average of two trains per day utilizes the siding while waiting for an oncoming train. This effectively blocks the trail but rarely for longer than 30 minutes. Visibility is adequate so crossing the tracks can be done safely.

Three Lakes - Belden to Old Spanish Peak Road (N. boundary Bucks Lake Wilderness): It is approximately 15.5 miles from the Union Pacific Railroad tracks at Belden to the abandoned jeep road leading to Spanish Peak. The Trail follows the historically significant Utah-California Wagon Road used in the construction of the Western Pacific (now Union Pacific) Railroad westerly for a few hundred yards before starting the slow gradual climb up never-ending switchbacks for over 4 miles.

The trail follows an old road from the canyon rim southerly to the Three Lakes Trail intersection. (A Wilderness trail head is a short distance to the south.) Approximately 0.5 mile beyond is the intersection with the old California Riding and Hiking Trail—a designation that has been abandoned. The trail proceeds through mostly red fir stands climbing slowly and steadily up Clear Creek to Mt. Pleasant. The trail follows the edge of a precipitous cliff with extensive views to the north and east. It continues south to the abandoned 4WD road leading to Spanish Peak, intersecting along the way with a lateral trail climbing steeply from Silver Lake.

Spanish Peak - Old Spanish Peak Road to Bucks Summit (S. boundary Bucks Lake Wilderness): It is approximately 4 miles from the abandoned Old Spanish Peak Road to Bucks Summit. The first 2 miles are red fir stands with the last two miles descending on an abandoned road through a 10-foot-high pine plantation with a heavy brush understory.

PACIFIC CREST TRAIL SOUTH SEGMENT
Starting at Bucks Summit and going south to the Tahoe National Forest Boundary the segments are:

Big Creek - Bucks Summit to Lookout Rock: This segment is approximately 9 miles from Bucks Summit to Lookout Rock. It is undulating without any long sustained grades, although it traverses some rather steep side slopes. Vegetation near Bucks Summit is manzanita and pine plantations but this soon changes to white fir, mixed conifer, or red fir stands. Some areas along the trail have been logged within the past 10 years and other areas are within a timber sale, which is soon to be logged. Approximately 4.5 miles south of Bucks Summit is the old Mt. Ararat-Bucks Summit Road. The trail is not well defined for the next mile, as a grassy, lodgepole flat is crossed to the paved Big Creek Road.

After crossing the Big Creek Road, the trail climbs slowly for over a mile before crossing a road. It then parallels a logging road for over a mile before crossing the Lookout Rock Road from which it is about 1 mile to Lookout Rock.

Bear Creek - Lookout Rock to the Middle Fork of the Feather River: The trail descends for approximately 11 miles between Lookout Rock and the Middle Fork of the Feather River. Vegetation is mostly mixed conifer, black oak, and canyon live oak in the lower reaches of the Canyon. The trail crosses Bear Creek and a major bridge constructed in 1979. Near Deadman Springs, approximately 1.5 miles from the bottom, a 4WD road is crossed that leads to a private mining operation located on the Middle Fork of the Feather River. Watch especially close for rattlesnakes as they are common on this segment. Also be extra careful when smoking or building a campfire as the threat of a large forest fire in this area is great.

Fowler Peak - Middle Fork of the Feather River to Black Rock Creek Road: The trail crosses the Middle Fork Feather River on an imposing bridge completed in 1980. It parallels Onion Creek for a short distance before starting the long climb out of the canyon. After a brief climb, the old Butte Bar Trail leaves the PCT in an easterly direction and climbs steeply for approximately 1 mile, intersecting the end of the Dogwood Creek Road. The PCT climbs steadily, switchbacking occasionally and crossing two clear cut units. The trail continues to climb after crossing a ridge and going through an extensive canyon live oak stand. Two miles from the Middle Fork Feather River the Dogwood Creek Road is crossed.

The trail continues to climb with frequent near views of the Dogwood Creek Road and evidence of logging generally in view. Several abandoned logging spur roads are crossed. After 3.2 miles, the two-lane dirt Sawmill Tom Creek Road is crossed. On the next 2.2 miles the trail continues to climb following skid trails and abandoned spur roads with evidence of logging in view. Finally, the trail stops climbing and undulates around the northeast side of Fowler Peak, then descends to the Black Rock Creek Road. This segment has no water.

Chimney Rock - Black Rock Creek Road To Quincy-La Porte Road: The trail follows an existing 4WD road, basically staying on a ridge top for the 7.3 miles of this segment. The 4WD trail has been posted "closed" but ORV use has been difficult to halt because of long established use patterns. Roads are crossed at several locations.

Pilot Peak-Quincy La Porte Road to Johnsville Gibsonville Road: This segment is 8 miles long. It ascends through red fir stands to Bunker Hill Ridge, which it follows. It alternately is in red fir stands and out on open rocky ridges with spectacular views. After crossing several roads, the trail leaves Bunker Hill ridge with a slight descent skirting the northeast side of Mt. Etna in the vicinity of an old trail and mine. The trail then undulates through an area logged several years ago. The Trail utilizes an old ditch for several hundred yards before penetrating a manzanita field and descending to the Johnsville-Gibsonville Road.

Gibralter-Johnsville Gibsonville Road to the A Tree: This segment is approximately 7 miles long. It slowly descends from the Johnsville-Gibsonville Road to the west branch of Nelson Creek. It gradually ascends along Nelson Creek through red fir stands to the base of Gibralter. A dead-end trail turns south and provides an excellent view after a 2-mile hike. The PCT turns east and switchbacks to the top of McCrae Ridge, after which it gradually descends to the A Tree on the Tahoe National Forest boundary.


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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