Summit Springs Trailhead to Snow Mountain

MODERATE 12 reviews

Summit Springs Trailhead to Snow Mountain is a 11.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Stonyford, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

11.4 miles
3287 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips



wild flowers


6 days ago

Wonderful hike. First mile is exposed, hot and thick with poison oak but then you get into the timber and it is shady and gorgeous for most of the way. Lots of wild flowers blooming today, nice fragrance in the air. Well worth the long rough drive in. Regarding the river crossing, there is a shallow crossing if you come in from Upper Lake. No crossing if you come from Stonyford. Neither route is suitable for my civic. Subaru, probably. Small SUV or truck is the best way to go.

15 days ago

I hiked here with my dog on May, 31 2018. Within the first mile we saw a black bear. There's a section there in the beginning at low elevation with a little creek, I should have had my head up. He noticed us first and went running in the opposite direction by the time I saw him.

Overall, the trail was well defined. The drive from I-5 takes about two full hours to get to the trail head. The first hour is on paved, country roads and then a dirt road takes you to the end. I was driving in a Honda Fit and maybe wouldn't recommend this car for the drive, however it was possible. I lost cell service during the entire drive but did have it on the trail.

I'd recommend this trail as a fairly easy backpacking trek. Also, I saw no one the entire time so seclusion might be it's best feature.

26 days ago

Memorial Day 2018 - awesome May hike with morning fog, light sun by early afternoon, flowers still in bloom. This hike would be brutal in the late summer or late afternoon! Some burned out areas but growing back nicely. I tried trail running this route- it's pretty damn steep! But not very technical.

1 month ago

The trail was in good condition. Sections of the trail were still covered in snow, but since it was early in the morning, the snow was hard and made for easy crossings. Around 4 miles in, I got to the pass that connects the east and west peaks. I headed up to the east peak of Snow Mountain, signed the peak register, then headed back down to the pass and up to the west peak. The west peak had a cement beam structure, and someone had also built a bivy site out of rocks. We headed back down to the pass again and continued on.

The entire loop was about 12 miles long and it was going by faster than I expected. Instead of camping, I decided to push through and get back to the car. The whole loop took about 5.5 hours.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Three of us did a multi day loop that included this trail. It was a nice hike with some good views. One thing we hadn't counted on was the scarcity of water. We passed through in the middle of August and found no available water until our second day. Not a problem if you're prepared for it. The summit did offer some great views.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Nice little trail with not a lot of info describing it online. I will try to fill in some of the holes.

I did this hike on Memorial Day weekend. Based on online descriptions of this trail as empty, I didn't expect to see that many people on the trail. However, there were dozen of cars at both Deafy Glade and Summit Spring Trail heads and lots of people on the trail.

The drive in was also not as expected. While the road is pretty good (I saw loaded sedans on it) and fun, there were no river crossings as described. Perhaps they are there earlier in the year. Also, road 17N06 is washed out so you either have to park at the junction or take 17N29 (which gets a little rough) about 1.2 miles east and start from there. Either way, the hike will be longer, with more elevation gain.

I did this hike from the bottom of a the hill on 17N29. The route to the summit and back was 9.6 miles and 2300ft of gain. This route (from 17N29) requires a STEEP off-trail climb directly up the hill. This can be a hard way to start (and end) your hike. Also, at least one rattlesnake inhabits the area. I'd recommend not starting here.

The start of the trail was hot and dry. Soon enough it cools off and the patches of poison oak give way to fragrant wildflowers. The trail then cools off as you enter a forested area near cedar camp. Higher up there were small patches of snow and little streams from the melt. The final approach looks much like higher summits: rocky, treeless and with patchy snow.

All in all, a nice little drive to a nice, well-marked, little trail. There is only moderate steepness along the way and late-season snow make this right all ages and many fitness levels. It's not amazingly scenic, but is very pretty. If I could make a recommendation, I'd say do this in the early spring. The weather would be nicer and I imagine this place would look awe-inspiring with the top half of the trail under a little snow.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

You may want a four wheele drive to get to this trail if you are brave enough to cross the river that is . Getting to this trail head is half the adventure . Well worth the trek . Very rewarding views into 4 different county's.

19 days ago

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Tuesday, June 23, 2015