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Butte Lake to Snag Lake loop

MODERATE 13 reviews

Butte Lake to Snag Lake loop is a 14.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Old Station, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from June until October.

Distance: 14.7 miles Elevation Gain: 2,034 feet Route Type: Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

hiking
bridge out
bugs
muddy
no shade
off trail
rocky
scramble
washed out
4 months ago

6/5. So we started this route going counter clockwise from butte lake campground. A good majority of the trail to start out with is not shaded and very sandy/gravely trails. There is a bypass to go around cinder cone but worth the trek up it to see the view. Difficult though especially hauling our overnight packs. Suggestion have a bandana for all the dust not only what you might kick up but others passing you too. Once down from the cone the hike wasn’t too horrible. Mostly uphill until last stretch to rainbow lake. Like other reviews...zero snow on trail entire route. Rainbow lake is amazing. Good place to overnight camp. Plenty of flat areas. 6/6 started hike to snag and then butte lake as out plans were to camp at butter. Snag lake trail is decent until you get to bottom end of lake and around for about a mile. Trail hasn’t been cleared yet so lots of down trees. Over and under quite a bit. There’s also some mild waterways to cross. Carefully enough you won’t get wet. We managed ok. There are a handful of spots to camp along snag lake Butte lake there is a short section at the start of it where flat area is available but after that nothing u til you reach about a mile before the main campground again. There’s a section near the last mile crossing a good sized water way where the trail marker is and then it’s straight uphill for a short span (less than 1/2 mile maybe). Then it’s pretty much home free. Overall the trail was nice. Lots of sandy areas leaving butte lake and arriving back to it. Small area on butte lake side near bottom end there’s a mile or so that’s just over infested with mosquitos. We didn’t see any bear tracks/scat which was nice. One deer.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike. The trail is totally free of snow. A large part is sand therefore harder to walk but nothing critical. The hard climb to the Cinder Cone is worth the effort. Beautiful views of Lassen peak at the top. Several creeks to cross but all easy. Don’t forget your bug repellent. Many areas with lots of mosquitoes. They will eat you alive.

hiking
5 months ago

I did this loop as part of my first backpacking trip last week, but added on some milage by heading south to Horsheshoe lake, then west to the PCT, which we took up to Lower Twin Lake, then rejoined this trail at Rainbow Lake. Outside of our addition to the loop, the trail was mostly snow-free and easily navigable by June 21. Other than Cinder Cone, there is not much elevation gain and you're hiking through largely forested areas, as well as through a recent wildfire between Rainbow Lake and Cinder Cone. We encountered a bear at Rainbow Lake that was very curious about our camp site, despite our food being stored elsewhere in a bear canister. Fortunately this encounter was during the day when we were not in our tent. Expect quite a bit of solitude after you get a couple of miles from the parking lot. Nights are incredibly quiet with beautiful, starry skies to enjoy.

backpacking
Wed Aug 15 2018

This was a great first backpacking trip to take my friends on! There were great campsites to backpack out to on the beach of Snag Lake. The hardest part for us was the Cinder cone itself at the beginning, as it was steep and very gravelly. For those having trouble, you can go around instead. Most of the trail is pretty well covered, but the forest is not very dense. There is also a really cool marsh area at the southern end that my friends and I enjoyed getting lost in. Highly recommended for novice backpackers!

Sat Jun 23 2018

one my all time favorite hikes.. top 5 easy ... start early take your time , pack lunch , snacks plenty water ... I recommend starting out on the cinder cone trail , hike the cone first gives u a great view of your hike to come , and gets the blood pumping lol .. rest is for most part easy miles , rolls along the volcanic edge then , around snag lake , great lunch spot , and swim .. then u leave snag and trail climbs some small hills of awesome pine forests , likely see or hear bear , I always do .. then u slowly drop dwn to butte lake , where the trail again lazily follows the waters edge , by time your feeling the miles your rounding the head of butte lake and u knw your almost back ... great mix of beauty , scenery , wildlife and that happy tired feeling after a long day .. well enjoyed

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

recorded hard ass hike

hiking
Sat Jul 21 2018