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This trail is good for families with children as it leads along a creek bed, great for exploration, and it remains level for four miles.

This trail begins from a short access road along Highway 89 and ends at the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) on the parks northern boundary. The length of the trail is close to four miles with little elevation gain. It can be used in combination with other trails in the park or in Lassen National Forest to create a long backcountry trip.

The access road for this trail is slightly more than one half mile south of Emigrant Pass on Highway 89. Turn northward and drive a short distance to the gate that closes the road to motor vehicles. Approximately 75% of this route follows this closed road.

The trail begins at approximately 6,400 feet leading northeast and losing elevation slowly. Within a few minutes of the trailhead the road turns due north and crosses the West Fork Hat Creek. The trail is relatively level for the next mile losing only 40 feet in elevation. The route parallels Hat Creek on its western bank and passes through a very wet marsh area. Because this area is very wet wildflowers grow here profusely.

The trail continues northward, but leaves the stream bank for one mile as the waterway veers eastward. In this mile the trail loses 80 feet and passes the eastern base of Raker Peak. The trail hits a low point of 6,200 fee as it passes Raker Peak and begins to ascend almost imperceptibly. At the end of this mile are two abandoned spur roads leading east toward Hat Creek. These are both very short dead ends.

Shortly after the second spur road the path crosses Hat Creek and narrows significantly. Looking northward you'll see the southern flanks of Badger Mountain and a hardened lava flow on its southwestern base. During the next mile and a half the trail follows the path of Hat Creek gaining only 40 feet. As you near the base of Badger Mountain Hat Creek veers westward and the trail forks. Both forks lead to the PCT. A stock corral lies along the left side of the fork before it reaches the PCT. The right side of the fork gains 100 feet before reaching the PCT.

Directions: From Northwest Entrance, Drive southeastward along Highway 89 ten miles to the Hat Creek Trail access road. The access road begins .6 miles south of the Emigrant Pass turnout on theeastern side of the highway.

Elevation: 6,400 feet

Ending Elevation: 6,250 feet

Usage: Light

Difficulty: Easy

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Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.