There is no better way to enjoy the beauty of Plumas County than by exploring it first-hand and on foot. Whether you take a leisurely stroll or a strenuous hike, you'll experience the magnificence of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges along an extensive system of hiking trails. Here's a look at some of the most accessible ones:
Dogs are welcome (leash preferred) on all National Forest hiking trails. Within Plumas-Eureka State Park, dogs are only allowed on the Grass Lake trail, and dogs are not allowed on hiking trails in Lassen Volcanic National Park, although they are welcome in the parking lots, roads and road shoulders, campgrounds and picnic areas.
About 80 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) stretch across Plumas County, with elevations ranging from 2,400 to 7,000 feet. This famous west coast trail, open to foot and horseback traffic only, encompasses a total of 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. The Plumas County section can be accessed six miles west of Chester, at Belden in the Feather River Canyon, at Bucks Summit on Bucks Lake Road, off Big Creek Road near Bucks Lake, along the Quincy/La Porte Road, and in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area. The communities of Chester and Quincy both welcome PCT hikers. Due to changes in the trail each year, the exact half-way point varies slightly, but is near Highway 36 just west of Chester.
The Almanor Basin offers a myriad of hiking opportunities, including the paved Lake Almanor Recreation Trail that follows the west shore of the lake. The Almanor area also is close to some magnificent hikes within Lassen Volcanic National Park and the nearby Caribou Wilderness Area.
Pines Lumber Company has a short walk off the
PCT on the north side of Highway 36 called
which offers a self-guided interpretive trail.
The Feather River Canyon affords hikers the opportunity to hike near one of the most beautiful waterways in the state, as well as to marvel at many of man's engineering feats.
In the Bucks Lake
Wilderness Area, one trail follows the lake
while another takes hikers to remote mountain
lakes higher up.
The Indian Valley area has self-guided nature walks pleasant for families and seniors, including the Round Valley Lake Nature Walk near Greenville and the short hike to spectacular Indian Falls. Indian Falls is about nine miles south of Greenville on Highway 89. It is worth a quick stop to walk to the fall. See why this was a special place for the Maidu Indians. Intermediate hiking trails are located off the road to Antelope Lake, including a trail between Antelope and Taylor Lakes. And be sure to check out the trails around the beautiful Heart K Ranch in Genesee Valley.
The Lakes Basin Recreation Area in the southeastern part of the county near Graeagle has hundreds of great hiking trails, including a loop trail that leads past nine mountain lakes.
Ambitious hikers can climb to the top of the Sierra Buttes, Mt. Elwell or Eureka Peak, while others may prefer a less strenuous stroll to Madora Lake, located within Plumas Eureka State Park. Click on the map for full-size version.
The Lake Davis Recreation Area, north of Portola has a 5.1 mile hiking trail along the east shore of the lake that accesses the campgrounds, and another four miles was added last year.
Before you set out, click on the image to the right to download a copy of the Plumas County Hiking Guide, which offers more detail on the most popular hikes, including the trail length, difficulty and approximate hiking times. The guide is also available at local visitor information centers
Two locally-authored guidebooks on area
hiking trails also are available for sale at
the Plumas County Museum in Quincy and
several other locations throughout the
For detailed information and maps on all of the available trails in the area, call the Plumas National Forest (530) 283-2050 or the Lassen National Forest (530) 258-2141. If you're going on one of the more remote trails, it's best to bring along a compass and a forest service map. For topo maps and further information on specific hikes in Plumas County check out wildernet.com. For information about trail restoration contact Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship.