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WELCOME to Northern California’s Backcountry Roads - truly an adventure around every corner!

In Northern California lies one of the country’s most beautiful regionsthe Shasta Cascade and the North Coast. Covering an area roughly the size of Ohio, unspoiled, breathtaking vistas enthrall visitors with towering mountains, volcanoes, hot springs, glaciers, waterfalls, whitewater rivers, dense lush forests, and glistening lakes. Far Northern California contains seven national forests, eight national

and state parks, two national recreation areas, the Trinity Alps and the California Cascade range- including two giant glaciated volcanoes, the dormant 14,162 foot Mt. Shasta and the still active 10,457 foot Lassen Peak. Far Northern California is where people go to get away from the frantic city pace, appealing to those who like a leisurely approach to the outdoors as well as those who enjoy adventure. We are confident that this Backcountry Roads guide will lead you into some great adventures that will bring you

back for more. We hope you enjoy your experiences and have a safe trip. This guide provides information about some of the region’s most spectacular backcountry roads. Now that you have that new SUV- are you wondering what purpose it serves other than hauling the kids to soccer practice? Consider a family adventure off the beaten path. The routes in this guide were chosen specifically for the factory equipped sports utility vehicle. That Ford Explorer, Toyota 4-Runner, Mercedes ML350, or even your new Lincoln Navigator are all perfect for these drives. You can count on maybe getting them dirty but not scratched. Your SUV will carry you in comfort to some of the most pristine, natural locations available

in Northern California. Families will be able to enjoy Northern California’s backcountry in an uncrowded setting. The guide covers routes that can take as long as the entire day or just a short 1-hour jaunt. Cover photos courtesy of Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association

an adventure around every corner! Table of Contents

PAGE

ROUTE 1.Big Tan Oak

Visit world’s largest Tan Oak near the nation

2.Doublehead

High desert terrain, wild mustangs, visit a

4.Lakes/Crossroads

Lassen Peak views and Thousand Lakes Wilde

5.Marble Mountains 6.Medicine Lake

in Beautiful volcanic route to Medicine Lake

7.Mumbo Basin

, Castle Crags State Park, the Trinity Divide

8.North Warners

9.Quincy/ La Porte

Historic gold exploration history

11.Shasta-Military Pass Roadt volcano- Mt. Shasta

6

12.Sierra-Ishi

7

13.Siskiyou Crest

8

14.Smith River

9

15.South Warners

20

10

16.South Fork Trinity River

21

11

17.Southern Cascades

22

s Marble Mountain Wilderness Area

the caldera of a shield volcano

and Castle Lake

Historic wagon train route, visit a fire looko

Locator Map for routes

5

rness

Access to horse and hiking trails for the famou

Loop

10.Reservoir

fire lookout

of the scenic Salmon River Route crosses ridge line between branches

15

4 al scenic Trinity River

3.Eddy Gulch

PAGE

ROUTE

ut, unique volcanic geology

12 -13 14

High desert swamps and unusual lava flows

16

Drive completely around California’s larges

17

Euro-American settlements Historic Native American lands and early Backc

18

scenic vistas ountry route from Oregon to California with

steep rock gorge Smith River National Recreation Area with

19

s and scenic vistas

and beautiful waterfall High country wilderness area, mountain lake,

of California’s most remote towns Follow historic route to scenic river and one Famil

lake y camping at a Forest Service high country

18.Valley to Valley

trail, and Hat Creek Lava flows and cinder cone fields, emigrant

www.backcountryroads.com

23

radio telescope


Big Tan Oak

Doublehead

LOCATION

LOCATION

Visit world’s largest Tan Oak near the national scenic Trinity River

This route begins about 45 miles west of Weaverville off Highway 299.

DIFFICULTY

This route is on paved and gravel roads. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

TIME AND DISTANCE

Allow 1.25 hours round trip. This route is approximately 20 miles.

High desert terrain, wild mustangs, visit a fire lookout

This route begins northwest of Alturas, near Clear Lake Reservoir in the Modoc National Forest.

DIFFICULTY

This route is along gravel and paved Forest Service and county roads. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

TIME AND DISTANCE

Allow 4 hours to complete this drive. It is approximately 75 miles.

THE DRIVE

This route is a forest lover’s paradise. The world’s largest Tan Oak tree is the focal point of this short and simple route in the Six Rivers National Forest. When driving this route, you’ll be following along Hennessy Ridge Road. This road parallels a ridge-top pack trail from the 1880s. It was used by miners working claims along the South Fork of the Trinity River, and connected the small community of Salyer to Hyampom. Hennessy Ridge is also the watershed divide between the South Fork of the Trinity, and Trinity Rivers. You reach the Tan Oak tree 10 miles into the route. Of the 100 to 300 species of Lithocarpus, the Tan Oak is the lone North American species and is native from Southwest Oregon to California. It can tolerate winter frost as well as summer heat and dryness. The bark was highly valued for tanning leather, but the wood was little used, so in the late 1800s and early 1900s most of the trees were cut down. Opposite the tree, you will see a view of the main stem of the Trinity River Canyon. Near the end on the left there are views into the South Fork of the Trinity River. You will see old growth Douglas Fir forests that are mixed with oak, madrone, and Big Leaf Maple trees. For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

Petroglyphs, an old gravestone, and the Applegate Wagon Trail are just a few relics from the past that exist along this route through a section of the Modoc National Forest. You start your journey north of Canby along Highway 139, paralleling the Old Southern Pacific Railroad Line for several miles. North on Forest Road 136 takes you by Clear Lake Reservoir and Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge. You’ll continue driving through the Doublehead Forest District and over the Devil’s Garden Plateau. Devil’s Garden is an expansive prehistoric lava flow, with sparse vegetation, rough broken lava rock, juniper trees, sage brush flats, in a semi-arid region covering about half a million acres. It remains dry most of the year but in spring time it looks like the “land of lakes” as all of the water holes fill. Halfway along the route you can stop and see the views from the top of the Blue Mountain Fire Lookout. Jane’s Reservoir is a dry reservoir and is a great opportunity for diverse bird watching. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit Big Sage Reservoir. Big Sage Reservoir was constructed in the early 1900s to provide irrigation water to Warm Springs Valley between Alturas and Canby. This route ends in the city of Alturas on State Highway 299. For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

Big Tan Oak Drive

4

THE DRIVE

Boles Creek

Blue Mountain Lookout

5


Eddy Gulch

Lakes / Crossroads

LOCATION

LOCATION

Route crosses ridge line between branches of the scenic Salmon River

Lassen Peak views and Thousand Lakes Wilderness

This route begins in Cecilville, traveling north through the Klamath National Forest, ending at Sawyers Bar.

This route begins on Highway 44 near the north entrance to Lassen Volcanic National Park, and goes northeast to Highway 89.

DIFFICULTY

DIFFICULTY

This route travels along good quality Forest Service dirt roads. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

TIME AND DISTANCE

Expect rough road conditions and slow travel through remote country. Be prepared for downed trees or rocks on the road. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

TIME AND DISTANCE

Allow 1.5 hours to drive this route. It is approximately 23 miles.

Allow 7.5 hours to drive this route. It is approximately 60 miles.

THE DRIVE

If you are looking to experience small community living and the scenery of a forest drive, the Eddy Gulch route is a perfect fit. This route brings you into the heart of Northern California’s rural communities in Klamath National Forest. Beginning in the community of Cecilville, you will travel northbound through lush forest and end at a bridge in the small community of Sawyers Bar. There is no store in Sawyers Bar and the only electricity comes from solar panels or private generators.

THE DRIVE

You will witness a change in the vegetation as the elevation changes. Just about four miles into the route you will see incredible views of the Trinity Alps Wilderness. While driving along forest roads on your way to Sawyers Bar, you can stop and take in the view from the Eddy Gulch Fire Lookout. During fire season, the lookout is manned and you can drive right up to it; however, it is still accessible by foot in the off-season.

After passing Highway 44 you enter into the Thousand Lakes: The Wild Woods section of the drive. It takes you past the Thousand Lakes Wilderness, dominated by 8,677-foot Crater Peak, the highest point in the Lassen National Forest. This 16,335acre wilderness is recognized for its striking volcanic and glacial formations, alpine lakes, rocky ravines, and fragrant stands of Lodgepole Pine, White and Red Fir, Willowy Hemlock, and Baker Cypress along the road. This last species is considered threatened in Oregon and rare in California (by the California Native Plant Society). You’ll get a glimpse of the Devil’s Rock Garden area and lava flows as you descend into Bunchgrass Valley. You can explore Burney Springs and take advantage of road access to Burney Mountain, which is considered a “special volcano” by the US Geological Society.

This area has long been remote. Gold was first discovered on the South Fork of the Salmon River above Cecilville in the spring of 1849 by a group of miners from Illinois. This is a very rugged mountainous area; supplies could only be brought in on pack animals from Callahan or from the Pacific coast to the west. The Callahan to Cecilville road was not built until the 1950s. For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

Eddy Gulch

6

Salmon River

Lassen Peak makes a stunning appearance in this section of the Lassen Backcountry Byway, entitled The Crossroads. Around mile 10 you will encounter an opportunity for a side trip to hike Heart Lake National Recreational Trail. Also not to miss is the Nobles Emigrant Trail. Look for this historic emigrant trail and marker on the right just beyond Manzanita Creek.

For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

Lassen Peak

Thousand Lakes Wilde

rness

7


Marble Mtn. Wilderness

Medicine Lake Loop

LOCATION

LOCATION

Access to horse and hiking trails for the famous Marble Mountain Wilderness Area

This route is located near Somes Bar, about 40 miles south of Happy Camp near Highway 96.

Beautiful volcanic route to Medicine Lake in the caldera of a shield volcano

This route is a loop that begins and ends near Bartle on Highway 89.

DIFFICULTY

DIFFICULTY

This route follows a combination of paved and dirt roads. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

This route is mostly paved with only six miles of unpaved road, but a high clearance vehicle is advised. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

TIME AND DISTANCE

TIME AND DISTANCE

THE DRIVE

THE DRIVE

Allow 2.5 hours to complete this drive. It is approximately 35 miles.

Located remotely among the river communities of Northern California, this route brings you up to incredible mountain views and opportunities to see waterfalls up close. Starting in the small community of Somes Bar on Forest Road 93, you’ll head north on a loop through the Klamath National Forest. The town was built by Abraham Somes, with his friend and partner, William Tripp in the early 1850s as a supply station for miners in the area. It was originally located about half a mile up the Salmon River, but floods and fires over the years have resulted in its relocation. The two founding families still make up a large portion of the residents of this area today. As you drive north up Forest Road 88 you’ll see some great views of the Marble Mountain Wilderness off to your east. The drive gives you access to hiking and equestrian trails into the Marble Mountain Wilderness. Near the end of this route, take a short side trip up the mountain to take in the views from the Ukonom Mountain Fire Lookout. The return portion of this route parallels the Kalamath River and overlaps with the Bigfoot Scenic Byway for several miles.

Allow 2.5-3 hours to drive this route. It is approximately 64 miles.

This is a relatively easy route that offers a varied landscape and interesting encounters with nature and a land with a volcanic past. The turnaround point is Medicine Lake, a site that is great for swimming, hiking, and picnicking. The Pit River people believed that the Creator and his son bathed in the waters of the lake after creating the earth and that he blessed the water with the power to renew and heal. It was once the center of the volcano that formed the surrounding land features; there are no outlets for this lake. Along the route you will come to the Little Mt. Hoffman Fire Lookout. This historic lookout has been renovated and is available for rent to the public for overnight stays through the Forest Service. Even if you are not staying the night, it is recommended to make the trek to the top and take in the amazing views. Also along this route you will see the geologically impressive Glass Mountain and Little Glass Mountain pumice and obsidian lava flow, an early source for material for arrowheads made by Native Americans. There were logging activities in this area in the 1920s to 1940s. There are still visible remnants of these early rail logging activities along the route. Also in view on this drive is the red colored Red Cap Mountain, and the white colored Pumice Stone Mountain. For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

As you near Somes Bar on your return trip, be sure and stop off to see Ishi Pishi Falls, which can be viewed from the highway. Near Somes Bar there are a handful of locations with easy river access. For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

Meteor Lake Wilderness ain unt Marble Mo

8

Marble Mountains

Lava Tube Bridge

Medicine Lake

9


Mumbo Basin Loop

North Warners

LOCATION

LOCATION

Castle Crags State Park, the Trinity Divide, and Castle Lake

This route begins in Castella and ends in Mt. Shasta City along Interstate 5.

DIFFICULTY

This route follows a combination of paved and dirt roads. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

TIME AND DISTANCE

Allow 2 hours to complete this route. It is approximately 35 miles.

Historic wagon train route, visit a fire lookout, unique volcanic geology

This route takes you through sections of the Modoc National Forest in the far northeastern corner of California, near Cedarville and the Warner Mountains.

DIFFICULTY

The majority of this route follows dirt and gravel Forest Service roads. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

TIME AND DISTANCE

Allow 4.5-5 hours for this drive. It is approximately 60 miles.

THE DRIVE

This route encircles the Castle Crags Wilderness, with diversions at Gumboot Lake, Castle Lake, and Lake Siskiyou. From Castella, you pass by Castle Crags State Park and have the option of a day hike there before continuing into the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. At Gumboot Lake you can scoop up a bit of the headwaters for the Sacramento River; the water runs from there into Lake Siskiyou. You’ll also spend some time driving the ridgeline known as the Trinity Divide. From the top you’ll have a spectacular view of the Trinity Alps Wilderness. You will also pass through Horse Heaven Meadows and Mumbo Basin. The forest in the southern portion of this route is a mix of national and private lands. There are developed Forest Service campgrounds at Gumboot Lake and Castle Lake. On the way into Mt. Shasta City, you will pass by the Mount Shasta Fish Hatchery, which is the oldest operating fish hatchery west of the Mississippi. The area currently known as Mt. Shasta City was originally called Strawberry Valley or Berryvale because of the many wild berries found there. The city changed its name in 1924. For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

Gumboot Lake

10

THE DRIVE

This route begins with a drive through the Modoc National Forest then up Highway 395 parallel to the Great Western Railroad for several miles and is completed with a drive over historic Fandango Pass. Also along this route is the optional spur trip to the Sugar Hill Fire Lookout. Some of the natural features you will see on this drive include Buck Mountain, Barton Meadows, Goose Lake, and Upper Lake. However, one of the main historical draws to this route is the opportunity to share the road with the emigrants gone by. As you drive along County Road 9 (Fandango Pass), you will drive past the site of the Fandango Massacre, where a party of emigrants were attacked by Paiute Indians who had followed their wagon train across from Nevada in the 1850s. The emigrant party was dancing the Spanish Fandango and celebrating the end of their journey when they were attacked. Forest Service workers were still discovering signs of the massacre into the 1930s. Upon completing the route you can go north to visit the historic community of Fort Bidwell, or south through Lake City, the site of the first white man’s dwelling, the first saw mill, and the first school in Modoc County. Modoc County is known as the place where the west still lives. For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

Headwaters of the Sacremento River

Sugar Hill Lookout

Goose Lake Overview

11


12

13


Quincy / La Porte

Reservoir Loop

LOCATION

LOCATION

DIFFICULTY

DIFFICULTY

Historic gold exploration history

High desert swamps and unusual lava flows

This route begins just south of Quincy on Highway 89 in Plumas County, with a side trip to the small community of Johnsville and Plumas Eureka State Park.

This route begins west of Alturas, just off of Highway 299, in the Modoc National Forest.

This route is a paved and good quality road. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

This route travels along paved and gravel roads. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

TIME AND DISTANCE

TIME AND DISTANCE

Allow 1.25 hours for this drive. It is approximately 30 miles. There is an optional side trip that would add approximately 2.5 hours onto the trip.

Allow 2 hours to drive the full route. It is approximately 45 miles.

THE DRIVE

THE DRIVE

Driving the Quincy/La Porte Road not only highlights these two special communities in Plumas County, it also creates an opportunity to see the rugged and beautiful land that connects them. Along this route, you will cross over one of the branches of Nelson Creek. This is a great chance to take a walk or get out and swim. Later, you cross over the branch of Nelson Creek that has the Nelson Creek Bridge built in 1890. This bridge is open to foot traffic and is another great place to stretch your legs. La Porte is one of the older gold mining communities in the foothills of the Sierras and dates back to 1852. The town of Quincy boasts two of the three stoplights located in Plumas County. About halfway through the route you have the option to visit Johnsville and Plumas Eureka State Park, two other locations with significant mining history and beautiful scenery. At one point you will drive along the ridgeline. At the highest point you will be at an elevation of 6,450 feet. As you near the historic mining community of La Porte you will encounter an Off Highway Vehicle Staging area that is used by snowmobile riders during the winter time. You will also be near to Little Grass Valley Reservoir, a great spot for camping and boating, and in the winter, cross country skiing. For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

This route begins in Alturas and heads northwest to the land of the reservoirs. You will see the many full and dry reservoirs that are scattered about the Devil’s Garden Plateau. You will find yourself immersed in the high desert as you journey along these forest roads. The desert landscape offers spectacular photo opportunities and the possibility of wildlife and bird watching. Historically, wild horses have run on the Devil’s Garden Plateau for more than 130 years. Many of the early horses escaped from settlers during the Indian Wars or were released when their usefulness as domestic animals ended. One of the unique characteristics of this area is the water resources. Underground springs are creating swamps like Bucher Swamp, covering hundreds of acres in a high desert area. You will have a view overlooking Bucher Swamp towards the end of the route. Also on the way is a quick side trip to the Devil’s Garden Conservation Camp. It was built on the site of the Devil’s Garden Airport, which was built during WWII, but seldom used. There is an option for camping at Reservoir C near the beginning of the route. For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

Antelope Lake

14

La Porte, Johnsville Road Jamison Creek

Janes Reservoir

Bucher Swamp Reservoir

15


Shasta Military Pass Road

Sierra Land of Ishi

LOCATION

LOCATION

Drive completely around California’s largest volcano- Mt. Shasta

Historic Native American lands and early Euro-American settlements

This loop route begins in Mt. Shasta City and follows county, state, and forest roads encircling Mt. Shasta, ending at the intersection of Interstate 5 and Highway 89.

This route starts on the southwest side of Lake Almanor at the border of the Lassen and Plumas National Forests near Highway 89.

DIFFICULTY

DIFFICULTY

You will travel on a combination of paved and dirt roads between an elevation of 3,500 and 6,800 feet. You need four-wheel drive for parts of this route. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

Expect rough road conditions and slow travel through remote country. Be prepared for downed trees or rocks on the road. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

TIME AND DISTANCE

TIME AND DISTANCE

Allow 3-4 hours to drive this route, and additional time for stopping along the way. It is approximately 75 miles.

Allow 9 hours to complete this section of the drive. It is approximately 95 miles.

THE DRIVE

The first portion of the drive, named Sierra Nevada, affords road warriors with a spectacular array of geological sites. Look for mica, quartz, and feldspar soils – remnants of granite that have succumbed to ages of weather. Look also for evidence of the vast inland sea that once weighed heavily on this part of the earth’s crust. Along this route you will have options to camp at Forest Service campgrounds, hike to the top of Humboldt Peak, and see the view from the Colby Mountain Fire Lookout. The Humbug Valley and Soda Springs were used by the Maidu Indians for ceremonial purposes. Settlers, miners, and homesteaders arrived here in the late 1840s.

On this drive you will see Mt. Shasta from every angle, pass through impressive forests of White Fir and Shasta Red Fir, and get a close up view of glaciers and lava flows. You will also pass through and have the opportunity to explore the three historic towns of Weed, Mt. Shasta City, and McCloud along the way. You will pass Mt. Shasta Ski Park and have the option for a side trip to see Upper, Middle, and Lower McCloud Falls. Before turning on to Military Pass Road you will come to the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden on Highway 97 which commemorates veterans of the Vietnam War. This route also takes you to the trailheads for trails that go into the Mt. Shasta Wilderness. This drive takes you back into history because the Military Pass Road was originally built by the U.S. Army in 1855, though the original route has changed somewhat since its early days as a wagon route. The name Military Pass was officially adopted in the 1940s when a local historian expressed that it was first used by soldiers, even though emigrants were actually the first to use this route. For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

Mt. Shasta

16

THE DRIVE

The Land of Ishi is the name of the second portion of the Lassen Backcountry Byway. One of the highlights of this route is the Lassen Trail, which you will come across about 10 miles into the route. Peter Lassen pioneered this route in 1848 and led several wagon trains along it the following summer. Another historic place in the emigration journey you’ll see on this route is The Narrows, a narrow ridge barely 30 feet wide. Almost every diary of emigrants who traveled along this route mentions navigating this place. For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

Middle McCloud Falls

17


Siskiyou Ashland Crest

Smith River South Fork

LOCATION

LOCATION

Backcountry route from Oregon to California with scenic vistas

Smith River National Recreation Area with steep rock gorges and scenic vistas

This route begins 10 miles north of Yreka and circles through Southern Oregon and the Siskiyou Mountains into Northern California.

This route begins in the northwestern corner of the Six Rivers National Forest, starting 10 miles northeast of Crescent City, California.

DIFFICULTY

DIFFICULTY

This route follows sections of paved road, but is predominately on gravel or dirt roads. There are some single lane bumpy sections with no turnout spaces. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

This route covers a combination of paved and gravel roads and is open year round. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

TIME AND DISTANCE

TIME AND DISTANCE

Allow 3 hours for this drive. It is approximately 45 miles.

This drive should take 3.5-4 hours. It is approximately 100 miles.

THE DRIVE

THE DRIVE

You will tour the scenic northwestern forestland and rural town sites along these remote roads near the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Gasquet and Hiouchi are among the small communities you will discover as you follow the meandering forest roads.

You will drive along paved and unpaved roads in a loop that crosses over from California to Oregon and then back into California. The roads traveled are Interstate 5, Mt. Ashland Ski Road/FS20, Forest Road 40S01, and The Klamath River Highway 96. Some sections are closed to automobile traffic during winter. You will reach an elevation of almost 7,000 feet, which affords incredibly inspiring views.

There are over a dozen places to access the river if headed east from Hiouchi along Highway 199.

This route offers incredible mountain views of Mt. Shasta to the south, the ridges and mountains of the Klamath National Forest to the west, and spectacular fall color during the early autumn months.

The road passes through privately owned forest—maintained for timber harvesting—and is interspersed with patches of Klamath National Forest. Camping is available in the National Forest.

When headed south along County Road 427, there are also several places to access the river. Steven Bridge and Sand Camp are two places with easy access. The Smith River is a popular destination for fishing and rafting, as well as being considered one of the most scenic rivers in California. Camping is available at Big Flat Campground on County Road 427 and also at Patrick Creek Campground on Highway 199.

You will drive parallel to the Pacific Crest Trail for a section of the route, have the opportunity to view two old graves near Trapper Creek, see the Dry Lake Mountain Fire Lookout, and travel along the State of Jefferson Scenic Byway. You also have the option of a side trip down Highway 263 (originally historic Highway 99), famous for its many historic bridges.

This route also makes available a side trip to visit the Mt. Shipman Fire Lookout, an old fire lookout that has been renovated and made available for the public to rent out for overnight stays through the Forest Service.

For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

land

Siskiyou Crest from Mt. Ash

18

Klamath River Canyon

Along Smith River

Smith River

19


South Warners

South Fork Trinity River

LOCATION

LOCATION

High country wilderness area, mountain lake, and beautiful waterfall

South of Cedarville, this is a loop around the South Warner Wilderness.

DIFFICULTY

This route follows dirt and gravel Forest roads and paved county roads. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

Follow historic route to scenic river and one of California’s most remote towns

This route connects the remote community of Hyampom with Highway 299, with the beginning of the route being about 55 miles west of Weaverville in the Six Rivers National Forest.

DIFFICULTY

This route is mostly dirt and gravel roads. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

TIME AND DISTANCE

Allow 5.5 hours for this drive. It is approximately 85 miles.

TIME AND DISTANCE

THE DRIVE

Allow 2.5 hours for this one-way route. It is approximately 40 miles.

The South Warner Wilderness has breathtaking scenery and ample opportunities for hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, hunting, and fishing. It offers snowcapped peaks, mountain meadows, sparkling streams, trout fishing amid scenic grandeur, a profusion of colorful flowers and shrubs, and countless birds and small animals. The Wilderness in the South Warners is only accessible by horseback or on foot, but this loop will get you as close as you can go in a vehicle. Your drive starts just south of Cedarville on County Road 1 and continues through Eagleville and past the Menlo Baths hot springs before heading west into the Modoc National Forest. Along Forest Road 64 you can swing down to see Blue Lake, an excellent fishing spot for rainbow and brown trout. From there you head north through the Jess Valley with views of the wilderness and mountains to the east. You will see great views of the three most distinctive peaks of the South Warner Wilderness which are: Squaw Peak, Warren Peak, and Eagle Peak. There is the option for a side trip to Soup Springs, Soup Springs Campground, and an access point to the Summit Trail. Continuing north you will pass through a state game refuge. The route ends at the Cedarville Cemetery, just south of town.

THE DRIVE

Finding that perfect place to wade in the river or take a swim and a picnic are among the highest pleasures of traveling this combination of hidden back country roads. You will be driving primarily along Forest Road 6 along the South Fork of the Trinity River through the Six Rivers National Forest. The lower South Fork was populated by people of the Hupa tribe, and there are a number of significant archaeological sites in this area. At various points along this route you will actually be driving the ridgeline, at times reaching an elevation of 3,500 feet. As you near Hyampom, one of California’s most remote communities, you will pass a multiple acre vineyard and the Hyampom Forest Service Station. Camping is available at Big Slide Campground towards the end of the route, and there are developed rest areas in two places along the road. For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

Squaw Peak

20

Mill Creek Falls

South Fork Trinity Riv er Fly Fishing

South Fork Trinity Riv er Rafting

21


Southern Cascades

Valley to Valley

LOCATION

LOCATION

DIFFICULTY

DIFFICULTY

Family camping at a Forest Service high country lake

This route is located just east of Yreka, following county and Forest Service roads connecting the cities of Montague and Macdoel, California.

Portions of this route are paved while others have a smooth gravel surface. Though much is two lane road, some segments are a single lane without frequent turnout spaces. A Forest Service map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

Lava flows and cinder cone fields, emigrant trail, and Hat Creek radio telescope

This route begins north of Old Station on Highway 89, going east on Forest Road 22 and ending at Little Valley.

Expect rough road conditions and slow travel through remote country. Be prepared for downed trees or rocks on the road. A Forest Service Map, map skills, and a good sense of direction are helpful.

TIME AND DISTANCE

TIME AND DISTANCE

Allow 3 hours to drive this route. It is approximately 30 miles.

Allow 2.5-3 hours to drive this route. It is approximately 45 miles.

THE DRIVE

THE DRIVE

This drive begins in the “Old West Cattle Town” of Montague and ends in Macdoel, home of the Prather Ranch, famous throughout California for its organic beef. You will travel along county roads until reaching the Klamath National Forest boundary and will continue on Forest Service roads from there. If you are interested in geology, you’ll be interested in the Hole in the Ground Special Interest Area in the core of an ancient volcano. You will also see the Little Shasta Meadow Botanical Area. Near the Botanical Area you can park the car and take a quick hike to Little Shasta Spring. You will also pass by Ball Mountain and the Ball Mountain Fire Lookout. Some of the other attractions along this route are Miess Lake and Juanita Lake; there are opportunities for camping at Forest Service campgrounds at both of these lakes. This route also takes you near to the Butte Valley State Wildlife Area. For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

The final section of the Lassen Backcountry Byway takes you through the northern stretch of the Lassen National Forest literally taking you from Valley to Valley. You’ll ascend to the Hat Creek Rim with outstanding views of the region’s features. Murken Bench offers interesting geological views. On the left side of the road you will notice the circular formations of pahoehoe lava. This lava traveled 14 miles from its source near Old Station, flowing mostly underground in lava tubes and tongues. The slab was originally horizontal, but was tipped nearly vertical by the geological energies that formed Hat Creek Rim. To get a closer look at the spatters of lava ejected from the volcano’s vents, hike the Spatter Cones Trail; or, visit Subway Cave and walk a short trail through a subterranean cave, created by the cooling lava. You will see Mud Springs and Gibb Springs, which were undoubtedly important stops on the Old Lassen Trail. This was also Peter Lassen’s ill-fated point of disorientation during his search for the route west into the Sacramento Valley. During favorable weather watch hang gliders soar high over the land. Hat Creek Radio Observatory and an intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail are two manmade highlights along this route. For a complete description, driving directions, and map for this route visit

www.backcountryroads.com

Juanita Lake

22

Shovel Creek Meadows

Subway Caves

ry

Hat Creek Radio Observato

23


Keep in mind that different times

of the year provide different weather and road conditions and what may be accessible in August will no longer be available after the rains of November. Please check local Forest Service offices and visitors bureaus for current conditions.

These routes are appropriate for SUVs, pickup trucks, and some passenger cars; Vehicles pulling travel trailers should be discouraged from travelling these routes.

to be your only resource. We highly recommend you pick up a forest map from the Forest Service. Book stores and outdoor equipment stores also have topographic maps. If you choose to take any of these backcountry routes, you assume all risks, dangers and liability which may result from your actions. The Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association and the USDA Forest Service disclaim any and all liability for any injury, loss or damage that you, your passengers or your vehicle may incur.

Vehicles may encounter logging trucks on these routes. There are some places where the roads are single lane with turnouts. Travelers will need to stay alert to the dangers of oncoming traffic and need to realize that they may have to take quick, evasive action to avoid a head-on collision.

For regional tourism information

These roads are normally a high priority for maintenance each spring, however, it is still possible that visitors may choose to navigate these routes early in the year, after the snow has melted but before they have been maintained. If this is the case, there may likely be sections with fallen rocks or downed trees across the road, minor slides, extensive washboarding, rutting, soft or slippery spots, plugged culverts, clogged ditches, etc. that may challenge the average driver or make the road impassable. Any one of these conditions has the potential to be unsafe for traffic.

Produced by:

As you enjoy the use of the

Backcountry Roads identified in this guide, please keep in mind that there are many other users on these roads. Depending on location of any specific road, you may encounter other motorized vehicles, mountain bikers, hikers, wildlife and equestrian users.

This guide was prepared with

the hope that you will enjoy safe backcountry driving. It is not intended

and a free 64-page Regional Visitors Guide, call 1-800-474-2782 or visit our website: www.shastacascade.com

For more information and a downloadable map for any of the routes in this brochure, visit the Backcountry Roads website: www.backcountryroads.com

Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association 1699 Highway 273 Anderson, CA 96007 (530) 365-7500

The U.S. Department of Agriculture

(USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, natural origin, gender, religion, age disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audio-tape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Back Country Roads  

Scenic Drives - Back Country Roads

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