Explore the most popular forest trails near Westwood with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

one my all time favorite hikes.. top 5 easy ... start early take your time , pack lunch , snacks plenty water ... I recommend starting out on the cinder cone trail , hike the cone first gives u a great view of your hike to come , and gets the blood pumping lol .. rest is for most part easy miles , rolls along the volcanic edge then , around snag lake , great lunch spot , and swim .. then u leave snag and trail climbs some small hills of awesome pine forests , likely see or hear bear , I always do .. then u slowly drop dwn to butte lake , where the trail again lazily follows the waters edge , by time your feeling the miles your rounding the head of butte lake and u knw your almost back ... great mix of beauty , scenery , wildlife and that happy tired feeling after a long day .. well enjoyed

This was an introductory three night backpacking trip for my two kids. I couldn't have chosen a better back country trail for their first experience. The trail was beautiful and full of variety and wildlife all the way around, We pretty much camped alone at night as it was mid-week. Our Snag Lake campsite was surrounded by unspoiled forest and plenty of water. Our Silver Lake campsite had very little shade on arrival but was beautiful in a completely different way. You could see a burned-out forest regenerating itself, and the sunrise was spectacular. Plenty of deer at our last campsite in Rainbow Lake, which was so serene. We completed a rough figure 8 starting at Butte Lake, and I kept the mileage low so the kids wouldn't get too worn out. It's relatively flat with some climbing especially up the back of the cinder cone, which we saved for the end of our trip. What a treat! The views of Lassen Peak along with many pristine lakes along this trail are unforgettable!

Went on a three night backpacking trip on this figure-8 loop, had a blast! The lakes are beautiful and pristine, the wildflowers are great, all around wonderful route, and the trails are lightly trafficked (heavily trafficked on weekends near the cinder cone, however). The lakes are really the highlight.

A few hills but nothing extreme, very relaxed and pleasant. Good campsites, frequent access to water, well maintained trails. We also saw a bear! It was cute and ran away when we said hi. We were also glad we brought bear cannisters.

Negatives: Half of the trail is this volcanic sand, which is fine, but can be annoying after a while. Also there is a large burnt out section that runs from Little Bear Lake to just about before the twin lakes. It is interesting at first but not much shade.

Short hike with great scenic views

Awesome. A hidden gem!

Beautiful area. I appeared to be the only hiker out in the wilderness. Lots of dead and down across the trail. hopped over most, but had to crawl or navigate around others.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Only saw one other person all weekend. Beautiful lakes, nice camp sites.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Easy trail, but great views of Snag Lake, Cinder Cone an the Lava Beds in the distance !

Saturday, August 29, 2015

My son and some family friends took the trail from Caribou lake to Turnaround lake. For what will become an annual Father's Day trip. It was an amazing hike, quite a few fallen trees to climb over and in some cases under, which added to our time. There is one really good uphill push as well. The weather was perfect the lake was ice cold but was refreshing after the hike in. The highlight of the trip was watching Bald Eagles fish the lake. The one and only major drawback were the MOSQUITOS, they were relentless. They are the only reason for the 4 out of 5 rating. I mean Bald Eagles diving for fish, come on you just don't see that everyday.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Pine forest with numerous lakes. Pros: easy terrain, abundant lakes with nice campsites, very lightly used. Cons: ungodly numbers of mosquitoes, especially in the southern areas (I was there in June), so-so views. All-in-all a good place for easy day hikes or overnight backpacking. Wonderful if you like solitude. But bring bug spray and a head net!!

We recently did a varient of this loop on a three-night backpacking trip. We left from Summit Lake, went by the Twin Lakes and stopped at Rainbow Lake. Then we went to Butte lake via Cinder Cone (neither of which is a part of the trail this page is for). The next day we went to Snag lake and the net day we left. We did not go to Horseshoe Lake and the loop we did was 25 or 26 miles.
The trail from Summit to Rainbow is a fairly easy five miles and I posted a review with photos of that on the Rainbow Lake trail page.
The trail around Snag Lake is pretty flat but is covered in scores of downed trees which must be gone over, around or under. There are also two tricky creek crossings.
On our travels we saw a Yellow-Bellied Marmot, many Black Tailed Deer, Bald Eagles, Western Tanagers, Mountain Bluebirds, American Goldfinches, Killdeer, Sindpipers (and a sandpiper nest), and more.
This was a great location to hike some long miles since the trails are all pretty gentle. The hike out of Snag Lake toward Rainbow Lake is strenuous for a mile but otherwise the whole hike was easy for my children. We saw very few other people on the trails and we saw no other backpackers. The lakes were peaceful and our trip was relaxing. We will have many wonderful memories from this hike.

11 months ago

Thursday, July 23, 2015