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Mount Harkness Loop Trail is a 5.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Chester, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, camping, and nature trips and is best used from July until October.

Length 5.7 mi Elevation gain 1,335 ft Route type Loop
Camping Hiking Nature trips Running Forest Lake Views Wild flowers No dogs
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

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.

Weather
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Reviews (45)
Photos (52)
Recordings (38)
Completed (72)
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Ryan Bleeker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 1, 2020
Off Road DrivingRocky
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Khushboo Jain
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2020
HikingBugsNo shade
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Rebekah Fujimura
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 15, 2020
HikingRockyScrambleSnow

I always check on this site to get the best directions but for some reason these weren't clear and this was so hard to find. Spent an extra hour wandering around. My tips: from the 36, you can turn left onto Chester WARNER Valley Road, then left onto Chester Juniper Lake Road. Alternatively (the way my GPS took me) from the 36 you can turn left onto Feather River Road, then right onto Chester Juniper Lake Road. This road is paved for a while. When it turns to dirt and forks, stay to the RIGHT and continue until you get to the CAMPGROUNS parking/pay station (do not keep going toward "trailhead parking"). Turn left and follow the sign for Mt. Harkness. The trailhead & parking is right next to the lake & campgrounds. Hike itself was on the tougher end of moderate. Nice steady climb. Beautiful views once you get up higher on the ridge. Trail had clear markers on trees amd other hikers had left arrows on the snow covered parts of the trail. I would go back, well worth it!

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Jeremy Bondon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 9, 2020
Hiking

Still a little snow as of 6/9 but definitely doable! The climb is a good little butt kicker but the views above the tree line are ridiculously beautiful. Highly recommend!

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Scott Lawson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2019
Hiking

Barely anyone there on Sunday of Labor Day weekend.

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Lindsey Butcher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2019
Hiking

The climb is worth the view. Clear day today. Could see Lassen, Shasta and 3 Sisters. Would do again. The fire lookout person wasn’t there when we arrived. Would have liked to ask them a bunch of questions. There’s always next time.

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Ray Bouknight
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 30, 2018
Hiking

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.

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Mike Tacchella
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2018
Hiking

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!

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Cesar Contreras
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 22, 2018
Hiking

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!

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Matt Belben
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 2, 2014
Hiking

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.

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Derek Clark
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2012
Hiking
First to Review

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.

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Tuan Nguyen
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 20, 2020
Hiking
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Deb Janowski
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Hiking
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Prataprao Ughade
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Hiking
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Bill Elliott
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Hiking
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Jeff Stuivenberg
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Hiking
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Richard Engelke
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Hiking
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David Janzen
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Hiking
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Carol Metzdorf
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 19, 2019
Hiking
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Janet Hayes
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Hiking
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Richard Engelke
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Hiking
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Jonathan Nutzmann
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Hiking
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Trevor Hadley
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Hiking
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Joshua Millage
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Hiking
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Christopher Teeter
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Hiking
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Linda Smith
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Hiking
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Martin Manley
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Hiking
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