Sierra Buttes Lookout Trail

MODERATE 86 reviews
#7 of 120 trails in

Sierra Buttes Lookout Trail is a 5.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sierra City, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1594 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

trail running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Views of three lakes to fire lookout where you can see the Sacramento Valley. Trailhead is about 1/4 to 1/2 mile after the end of paved road. Beyond trailhead is OHV-only. Trail is mostly uphill but not too steep with plenty of flat ground. As you approach the first ridge, you'll see wildflowers & butterflies galore. Around the bend are the Tamarack Lakes, reflecting the sky, clouds, & trees. A little ways farther is Young America lake, which is just as reflective. Finally, you'll meet up with the 4WD trail that has 4 or 5 switchbacks, and finally reach the bottom of the lookout tower. If you're afraid of heights, you might not want to climb, but if not, be prepared for the views! Approximately 200 steps later, you'll be atop the lookout tower, with 360-degree views of the entire Sacramento Valley. On clear days you can see as far as Lassen! You also have a wonderful view of Upper & Lower Sardine Lake.

1 hour ago

Great hike! Super hard on the way up and the lookout is cool but terrifying!

hiking
18 days ago

Great hike beautiful views, didn’t care much for having mountain bikers on the trail, seems they will damage the trail. Also makes it more hazardous for hikers and dogs.

hiking
25 days ago

Incredible hike with gorgeous views. It snowed a few days before we went so the trail was a bit muddy. The fire tower is pretty awesome although it can be a challenge for those with a fear of heights.

27 days ago

Beautiful hike. Well travelled for good reason. Head out early to avoid crowds. The fire tower is simply breathtaking.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

A little steeper than I expected but very worth the hike took us 3 hours round trip as we took quite a few breaks. the end staircase to the lookout is definitely not for anyone afraid of heights at there is about 1000 foot drop underneath the stairs! great hike though!

2 months ago

One of the best hikes I've ever done. View is worth every step uphill! A moderate 2hr out and back. Bring your camera.

hiking
2 months ago

The Sierra Buttes lookout trail was beautiful. My 8 year old struggled for the first mile having a hard time with the steepness. Even he would say it was worth it once we reached the top. The stairs made me nervous although my boys didn't seem to mind.

Such a beautiful hike!

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

My goodness!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

It was harder at the top but the hike was worth the view.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago