Explore CA-Northern - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Beautiful terrain that vacillated between forested shade and granite slabs to bouldering cascades at the top.

Beautiful hike! First gain is a challenge but the view at the top is well worth it. Stopped there for lunch then ventured on toward the Dick’s Lake and Fontanillis Lake round about and up to middle Velma. Set up camp and ate dinner at dusk. Photographs because my credit card background. Mosquitoes were a nightmare (4th of July weekend) and the trails were a bit more congested on the descent with lots of day hikers.

hiking
5 days ago

Good solid grind going up. Still hazy but the view is still amazing. Bring water! I brought 3 liters and drank 1.5. Always have more then you think you’ll drink. Having less is horrible

Well maintained trail. Continual uphill but manageable. Use restroom at trailhead and carry water. Hundreds of thousands butterflies, awesome Visited early on a Monday and crowds were thin. I’d have to recommend Trekking poles. Even under smoky conditions views were good.

Best hike by far perfect not too long! Lots of beautiful views! Love it!

9 days ago

Perfect for the hot summer months.

Nice mix of rocky path and forested trail, sun and shade.

10 days ago

We’re from Texas. Elevation nothing. It was a gorgeous hike! We only hiked up to the lake, about 1.25 miles. However, we hiked around the lake to the other side over the little ridge there. Offers stunning views of Lake Tahoe. Worth the hike around the lake and up a little further.

Wouldn’t be a bad way to do it if you didn’t have to trespass. All trails should not show this as a route. The beginning location is silly since you shadow the road for 2 miles. I’ve past the private property it is fine primitive trail up to the pass. Then from the pass to the summit it is a well maintained trail.

Great view from the top. I could see this hiking bing amazing during a season when it’s not so hot and dry. I would recommend bring LOTS of water and some good shoes. This hike is a little challenging.

One of my fav hikes

hiking
15 days ago

Another perfect hike, this 5 mile stair climber goes up about 2000 feet via a well-maintained trail of switchbacks and through snow and glacier fields. The top is at the weather station and solar panels and is a fairly easy climb if you are careful about where you step. The crushed rock and sand can be slick on smooth rocks. We had a perfect day and were surrounded with thousands of migrating tortoiseshell butterflies. Trail was very busy the week of July 4th, with some folks skiing on the snow fields. If you visit Lassen, don't miss this hike! And take your shoes off in Lake Helen afterwards.

hiking
15 days ago

This hike was fun and had great views of a waterfall and some cool rock formations, but the trail was poorly marked. We had our two-year-old in a pack with us, and some areas were a bit precarious for carrying a kid.

Much of the trail is exposed so wear a hat and bring sunscreen. Lots of loose rocks, so wear good footwear.

Overall, this hike is totally worth checking out, but with all of the cool trails in northern CA, I’m not sure I’ll do this one again.

Climbed to the rocky peak without any difficulty. So Smokey at top due to Yosemite fire could barely see the lakes below.
Ran into very large rattle snake on trail. 11 rattles.
Climbed Whitney 2 days later.

Great hike! Up up and up! Perfect blue skies and tons of butterflies. Then took a refreshing dip in Lake Helen after to sooth the muscles. If you’re in a Lassen, it’s a must-do!

We thoroughly enjoyed this hike. Easy to moderate at times with absolutely stunning views. Lots of water to cool off in along the way. Would definitely recommend you do this hike!

Very cool hike! Up up and more up! We went with my 3 and 8 year old. They both made it to the interpretive signs near the top in their own. I carried my 3 year old in my backpack up the past section that is a little precarious. The first 95% of the trail is very moderate... Just all uphill. The only part of this hike that should qualify it as difficult is the last couple hundred yards which you could easily not do if you didn't feel like it and you'd still feel accomplished having made it up to the first little summit area.

I was out in California visiting a friend and we were driving through the park and randomly decided to do the hike to watch the sunset. A pair of shorts, tank top and flipflops was not the right outfit ... definitely bring a jacket or warm clothing for the top. Regardless of the chill it was totally worth the hike and one of the best sunsets I've ever seen! I will definitely do it again a little more prepared next time.

Gorgeous views. Granite Lake is pristine and well worth the stop to swim and relax before continuing the climb. Definitely worth the push at the end for the panoramic views!

hiking
22 days ago

Great hike with gorgeous views! Mostly switchbacks which is nice considering the elevation gain. Go early if on a weekend, we started around 8:15 and the parking lot was almost full when we got back at 11.

hiking
23 days ago

Great trail with great views. It got windy as we got to the top but the temperature was not to bad.

Brilliant hike. Did it with 3 kids (9, 12 and 15). My gps says 8km all in all.

trail running
23 days ago

It is about 6 miles total from the parking area. Very very rocky in the beginning. Almost impossible to run. It’s worth it as you get to the summit and then a great run back to the parking area. Running up to the summit is really hard at a high altitude! Beautiful area!

hiking
26 days ago

Absolutely breathtaking views. Easy to moderate at times, but thoroughly enjoyed the hike. Would recommend you don't pass this one up!

Amazing wild flowers end of June through July

hiking
27 days ago

Fun hike, lots of short switchbacks.
Tons of beautiful butterflies and some snow at the top.

hiking
27 days ago

Guys!! The Views were AMAZING. It's a tough climb up (especially if you do the Cinder cone the day before with zero hours of sleep after a 10 hour drive
...haha) but very doable. It's worth it.

Great hike. We were headed to campers flat for an over night. We did encounter a mountain lion in the rock field before the creek prior to Middle Velma. We did see a ranger the next day on the way out and he confirmed that there was one in the area. It was a great weekend and recommend this to anyone. Bring water and/or water filter. If your in good condition this is a fun hike if not you may have a time of it. Remember - enjoy the journey.

Such an amazing hike! Full of gorgeous wild flowers currently.

29 days ago

Great hike just to many people.

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