kid looking out at mountains in northern california

Hiking in Plumas County

Photo by Carrie Hawthorne

A hiking wonderland with verdant valleys, pristine forests and peaks panoramic views

Whether you want a leisurely stroll or a strenuous multi-day hike, hit Plumas County’s hiking trails to discover hundreds of lakes, thousands of miles of rivers, and millions of acres of forests. Meander through diverse, uncrowded landscapes to experience some of the best hiking in Northern California. Plumas County offers an extensive system of hiking trails, including over 90 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Where to Hike in Plumas County

Northwest Plumas

The Almanor Basin offers abundant hiking opportunities for hikers of all skill levels. Venture into Lassen Volcanic National Park and the nearby Caribou Wilderness Area for a huge variety of trails. Or take the entire family to enjoy scenic views of Lake Almanor and the mountains on the 19 mile, paved Lake Almanor Recreation Trail.

South Central Plumas

Trails in the Feather River Canyon offer hiking opportunities year-round because of the canyon’s lower elevation. Find solitude in Bucks Lake Wilderness, nearly 24,000 acres of protected forest that doesn’t allow motorized vehicles.

North Central Plumas

Surrounded by a stunning mountain backdrop, Indian valley is dotted with ranches, old barns and grazing cattle. Check out the family-friendly, self-guided nature walks including the Round Valley Lake Nature Walk near Greenville or the short hike to spectacular Indian Falls.

Southeast Plumas

Lakes Basin Recreation Area 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.

Hiking Seasons in Plumas County

Plumas County’s beautiful shoulder seasons and long dry summers mean hiking can be enjoyed most months. Late spring is ideal for hikes along rushing creeks and rivers; on long summer days venture to cool mountain lakes, brisk fall day saunters are ideal to soak up the vibrant fall colors, and winter walks through the valleys and in the canyon are perfect times to hike in Plumas County. You really can’t go wrong any time of the year!

A magical landscape

Where the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains meet has magnificent and varied geology, topography, hydrology, and ecology. Learn more from Friends of Plumas Wilderness about why Plumas County and the Feather River Watershed are such a beautiful place to choose for your next hiking adventure in Northern California!

Safety Tips & Wilderness Ethics

  • Check trail access. Trails may close due to natural damage or wildfire. 
  • Safety first. If you hike alone, notify someone of your route and the time you expect to return.
  • Summer hiking can be hot. Check the weather forecast before you go and be sure to bring water.
  • Winter hiking can be cold. Check road conditions, bring layers for warmth, and bring your snowshoes just in case!
  • Cell phone coverage is limited. Download to your phone or print out a map before you go.
  • Practice good hiking etiquette. Most trails are shared and multi-use. Learn more.
  • Leave no trace. Take all trash with you and stay on designated trails.
  • Check road conditions. Accessing trailheads may require driving on roads that aren’t paved. Often vehicles with 4WD or high clearance are necessary.
  • Do not feed wildlife.
  • Take precautions when you see lightning. Learn lightning safety measures.
  • Plan ahead to reduce risks of altitude sickness.
  • Bears are in the region. Learn bear safety tips.

Resources

Get more information on hiking in Plumas County

  • Pacific Crest Trail Association
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park: Your Complete Hiking Guide (2016) by Mike White
  • Feather River Country Adventure Trails by Tom Demund
  • 100 Classic Hikes in Northern California by John Soares and Marc Soares

Did You Know?

Plumas County sits where the Cascade and Sierra Nevada Mountains meet. It has one of the most diverse conifer forests on the planet and is part of the Feather River Watershed—the primary source of clean water for 27 million Californians.

 

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Places to stay in Plumas County
Greenville

Experience glamping in the Lost Sierra! Our spacious sites and safari-style tents offer the perfect place to rest, renew, and reconnect!

Quincy

It’s easy to relax when you are surrounded by this much space and luxury. Our beautifully decorated suites offer all the comforts of home, and more.

Lake almanor

Lakefront condominium on the Lake Almanor Peninsula with boat slip.