Explore the most popular trails in Bucks Lake Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike. Beautiful views and awesome lakes. Loved how remote it felt and it wasn’t crowded. Heads up, the road is washed out up the mountain a ways after you cross the Oroville bridge. There’s a dirt road detour that’s easy. We saw a Prius making the trip. Just follow the detour signs.

Did this trail in reverse (clockwise). We found it better to park a car at Bucks summit trailhead and another at Mill Creek trailhead. This allowed skipping a few miles of hiking along the road and through a campground.

In reverse, the first few miles were gorgeous along Bucks Lake with many other fellow hikers. Once it turns inland there was nobody else until Spanish peak. The terrain was quite challenging in mid June. Steep ascents, numerous switchbacks in brush or ferns
Lost the trail twice due to downed trees. Several streams to refill. We camped 9 miles in from Mill Creek head, at about 6300 ft. Gorgeous flat camp-sized green area along a stream with excellent wind protection and mossy ground cover, and unlimited firewood nearby.

After Spanish Peak, there was only one refill stream close-ish to the parking area. The pond was bright green.

First mile or two is completely uphill and is unforgiving if you're out of shape like myself, so just be prepared. After uphill you head through a redwood forest, then out into the open for some amazing, absolutely unforgettable vistas.

horseback riding
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Great loop to take. Hiking or Horseback riding from the parking area at Bucks summit. Following the PCT to Spanish Peak Lookout. (Great place to have lunch) The View is awesome up there. Take plenty of photos. The continue back to the PCT continuing north bound to the Right Hand Creek trail.
This is a nice trail the few people use. This trail crosses Right Hand Creek trail a few times. It has plenty of switch backs coming down to Bucks Lake intersecting the Mill Creek trail. If riding horseback be careful here the upper crossings are NOT horse friendly instead of taking the first trail to the left .. go to the right take the lower trail then turn back left and cross closer to the lake out of the big bolders which is much safer. Beautiful ride or hike

My 18 mile loop through the Bucks Lake Wilderness started at Bucks Summit and headed up the Pacific Crest Trail to Spanish Peak, which I wandered over to and enjoyed. The old fire lookout is just foundation and the overgrown road to it now, but it is still fun and the view is great. I then continued along the PCT to Granite Gap and went about a mile down the trail for good views of the lakes before coming back along PCT to the Right Hand Branch trail down to Bucks Lake. This trail is nice, though not so nice as what I'd seen so far. Once down to the lake, I circled back to the road along Mill Creek. At the road, I crossed over to Bucks Creek Loop and started up the north side. The south side may be better, but it was already getting dark. The end of the loop is nearly to Bucks Summit, and a small trail went most of the way back.

This entry may be referring to a loop starting at Three Lakes, heading down PCT to the Right Hand Branch, then back along Mill Creek. This loop is also about 18 miles, but takes another mile to get to, so is really 20 miles. For about 23 miles, you can do PCT, Mill Creek, Bucks Loop and get all the good stuff without the bad road.