Mount Harkness Loop Trail

MODERATE 12 reviews

Mount Harkness Loop Trail is a 5.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Westwood, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and camping and is best used from July until October.

5.3 miles
1,345 feet



trail running


wild flowers

no dogs

Directions from Chester: Drive eastward on Highway 36 to Chester Valley Road. Turn left on this road and travel one mile to Juniper Lake Road. Turn right on Juniper Lake Road and drive northward. The road turns to dirt 7.5 miles before reaching the campground. Once in the campground park in the trailhead parking area.

20 days ago

Came in late July 2018. I should have checked the Lassen NPS webcams for air quality/visibility because it was very smokey from the Carr fire and the views were non existent. The air quality site showed "good" conditions.

The road in was bumpy in the middle portion, but nothing my 2WD crossover couldn't handle. My fellow hikers had a Nissan Altima and they did fine. My GPS tried to make me take some sketchy forest roads. I just stayed on the paved road until it ended and veered right.

We paid our $25 fee at the iron Ranger across the road from the ranger station. There's a pit toilet behind he ranger station.

The trail itself was nice. I think its a 1300 foot climb up to the fire look out. I should have brought my hiking poles. Totally spaced on that item. Bring plenty of water and head protection. We visited Dave at the fire look out and he was very nice. He explained how he spots fires. Shortly after we arrived, more guests arrived, making the lookout very crowded.

We did the loop which was about 6 miles for us. The trail down the west side is pretty rocky. Those poles would have been handy and saved my legs. We stopped by the lake and cooled off our feet. Other than the crowded look out, we didn't encounter many hikers.

We'll have to come back when the views are better.

24 days ago

Nice hike, probably a 4 star hike in general but being able to go in the fire lookout and visit with the residents and learn about living up there easily made it a 5 star experience! My 8 and 3 year olds loved visiting the lookout and my 3 year old even begged for me to take her back up there later in the day!

27 days ago

Great hike, awesome view of Lake Juniper at the top!

The meadows near the top were amazing. Lots of open grass meadows with wildflowers. There was no water along the trail but plenty of shade until you reach the final .5 km climb.

The fire watch station was staffed with volunteers who were very friendly. You can see great views of Brokeoff Mountain, Lassen Peak, and Cinder cone from the firewatch station.

If you loop back down the side of the trail that goes along the lake, there is a ton of volcanic rocks along the entire descent. It isn't too difficult but it is a long, gradual descent full with lots of rocks on the trail.

The road into Mount Harkness is pretty rough if you are traveling in a car. it is really steep with a lot of rocks.

Be sure to take a dip in Lake Juniper after your hike! There is parking at the end of the road, and a small beach area near the parking lot. The water in Lake Juniper is so clean, such a beautiful lake!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Great day hike with family. View at top was stupendous. We were invited up to the lookout tower and learned a lot of local history and geography from the fire lookout. It was a great time and my kids still talk about it several months later.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Great trail up to the lookout, similar to Brokeoff in that it crosses green meadows and such along the flanks of the mountain. The climb isn't too bad and the view is great in every direction. You can meet the lookout and sign his log book.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A little bit of a march up to the lookout. Plenty of wildlife, gorgeous views of Lassen, cider cone and surrounding peaks even Shasta. Say hi to the lookout Lorenzo.

4 days ago

recorded Mount Harkness Loop Trail

23 days ago

1 month ago

10 months ago

recorded Recording - Aug 17, 05:38 PM

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017