Sardine Lakes to Sierra Buttes Lookout

HARD 20 reviews
#40 of 164 trails in

Sardine Lakes to Sierra Buttes Lookout is a 11.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sierra City, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

11.3 miles
3,431 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly




trail running



7 months ago

Almost missed the trailhead as its named something else, a connector (I'll post the picture). heads up pretty quick and it's like a rocky dry creek bed the bends around through the trendline until it breaks out along the ridge. amazing views!! gets pretty steep toward the end of the Sardine Lakes section. But the views.......

10 months ago

Good views of Sardine lakes and the buttes, but the "trails" are just old rocky mining roads and there are human structures everywhere. The campsites are mediocre at best, and the new switchbacks to gain the butte ridge are excessive. I would not recommend that trail or that area.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Took a crew of mixed level hikers to the look out. Very challenging with a 30 lb pack but definitely worth the views. The route was difficult to follow the last mile due to the snow pack. I would recommend a quick brush up on terrain association but overall fairly easy to follow. The rocks at the beginning were treacherous on the ankles, so be careful.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Awesome trail. It's actually called the Tamarack Trail and has some great little lakes to camp next to. We hiked the 3+ miles to Lower Tamarack and set camp there before hiking to the lookout and back without our packs. Wonderful views

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Loved it

Monday, September 05, 2016

Right loose rocks at first, but good views. Then a disappointing loss of altitude as you work back down towards Tamarack Lake.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The hike up to the fire lookout tower at 8587 feet elevation had the most spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and valley's below. It is a trail one should do at least once in their lifetime.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Took the 4x4 trail up to within a mile of the summit before the snow prevented us from driving further. The hike up from there was a bit steep but fairly easy for anyone is decent shape. If anything, the fantastic views will take your breath away. If you don't have a 4x4 with high clearance, the hike up would still be well worth it. Once at the summit, there is a fire lookout station that we were able to walk upon an enjoy the 360 degree views from.

off road driving
Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Easy drive in a 4WD or high any high clearance vehicle; might be a bit rough for the family mini-van though! It is about a 3/4 mile hike from the parking area up to the top, but more then worth it. The view is AMAZING!!! If you have the guts to climb the old rickety tower with a 2,000' drop to the Sardine Lakes below! You can see over the Sierras into the Nevada desert, Mount Shasta to the North, AND the Coastal range to the West! It truly feels like the top of the world!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Panoramic views from the top 9000ft

1 month ago

11 months ago

Friday, June 30, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

Wednesday, September 30, 2015