The Summit Trail from Pepperdine Trailhead to Patterson Lake

MODERATE 6 reviews
#2 of 5 trails in

The Summit Trail from Pepperdine Trailhead to Patterson Lake is a 12.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Alturas, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

12.9 miles
3,221 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly




nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


6 months ago

this Trail offers almost everything. It's relatively long, for a trail rated moderate, but the ascent is very gradual, on a well maintained, and easy to follow path. There are two or three places where the trail itself goes over bare rock, which could be a problem, but there are piles of stones to direct hikers along the best line. The scenery is varied and often stunning. At one point both Mount Lassen and Mount Shasta can be seen. To the east, are dried Lake beds and Salt Flats marking Nevada. there are two there are two Lakes alone the trail, the first more of a small pond, and the second a spectacularly beautiful high alpine lake at the base of high cliffs. When we were there, in late June, there were snow fields running down into the water. It was as beautiful as any Lake we have seen, perhaps outside of glacier National Park. The trail is long, with traverses on hillsides and over ridges, but it is more than worth the effort. If you should happen to hit it in early summer, as we did, the wildflowers alone are enough reward for anyone.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

South Warner Wilderness is likely the least visited wilderness area in California. However, Modoc County law has less restrictions and protections for designated wilderness areas which hardly make this one "off the beaten path" if we take that phrase literally. The most glaring example of this is how cattle-grazing is permitted throughout the Warner Mountains. You may stumble upon cows resting along the trail and spook them, causing them to stampede in the opposite direction as I did. Their droppings will be obstacles to avoid on the trail, something one would expect while wandering out in farm fields and not in mountainous terrain at 7,000 feet or so. Keen observers are also bound to notice the more subtle ecological damage done by these grazing mammals - a large portion of native plant species have vanished here.

Despite these drawbacks, which are generally due to Modoc County not having the same wilderness value system as the rest of the state, South Warner Wilderness is worth a visit. The region resembles the Rocky Mountains of Colorado - with wide mountains that gradually rise, aspen and other deciduous trees, rich brown soil, etc. Volcanic formations and scattered remains of metamorphic rocks are also abundant.

Notes specific to this trail: Signs seem rare after the trailhead. Bring a map - unmarked trails intersect so avoid taking a wrong turn. If you are a novice hiker you won't have much obvious reference points other than lakes. Don't expect to see other hikers. I went on Labor Day weekend and saw no one.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Great hike, wonderful view......!

2 months ago

Thursday, June 30, 2016