Top CAD Trail Picks, 2022…
California Adventure District encompasses 38,000 square miles of iconic California and it is home to six national forests: Lassen, Mendocino, Shasta-Trinity, Klamath, Plumas, and Modoc. This summer, have some fun and make it a goal to hike one trail per national forest. Not only is this great exercise, but it’s also a way to boost your natural immune system, all the while surrounded by enviable landscapes. Here are some suggestions.
LASSEN NATIONAL FOREST
Blue Lake via Spencer Meadows Trailhead: All day
Distance: 10 miles || Elevation gain: 1,942 feet || Grade: Hard
The first half of this trail is a pretty steep climb to the ridge, with a number of switchbacks, but then it’s an easy yet epic descent to Blue Lake. You’ll get some incredible views from the ridgeline and the lake is perfect for a swim. This is an all-day adventure, so allow for plenty of time. You can park your car at the trailhead entrance on Highway 36. This one is tough but well worth it.
MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST
Bloody Rock Trail: Day trip
Distance: 4.8 miles || Elevation gain: 692 feet || Grade: Easy
This easy hiking trail with a river is perfect for a day trip or extended lazy weekend in the forest, with plenty of camping facilities nearby. This will become a new favorite. Check with the forest service before heading out to this one, as last year’s fire caused many trail closures in Mendocino National Forest.
SHASTA-TRINITY NATIONAL FOREST
McCloud Waterfalls Trail: Day trip
Distance: 3.5 miles || Elevation gain: 324 feet || Grade: Easy
This is a beautiful and very popular 3.5-mile out-and-back trail near McCloud, in the shadow of Mt. Shasta. As the name implies, it features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. You can use the trail year-round and you can bring your pups, although they must be kept on a leash. It’s easy to get to, with plenty of parking.
KLAMATH NATIONAL FOREST
Shackleford Creek Trail to Summit Lake: All day
Distance: 7.2 miles || Elevation gain: 1,384 feet || Grade: Moderate
If you want something a little tougher and a tad more remote, here’s one for you. The beautiful Shackleford Creek Trail in the Marble Mountain Wilderness is a 7.2-mile out-and-back trail near Fort Jones. With Summit Lake on one end and camping facilities on either end, you could easily turn this into a wonderful two-day adventure in Klamath National Forest.
PLUMAS NATIONAL FOREST
Round Valley Lake Loop: Day trip
Distance: 5.6 miles || Elevation gain: 275 feet || Grade: Moderate
This is an easy loop around a lake. There’s plenty of parking at the end of Round Valley Road, and chances are you’ll be sharing the partially paved trail with mountain bikes and maybe even some horseback riders. This is a great day trip into the forest.
MODOC NATIONAL FOREST
Glass Mountain Trail: Day trip
Distance: 4.9 miles || Elevation gain: 1,053 feet || Grade: Moderate
Modoc County is California’s Big Sky Country with incredible views, and that’s what you’ll get on this trail near Tulelake. Glass Mountain is named appropriately, as there is actual glass along the trail and all the way up to the summit, where you’ll enjoy stunning views. Bring plenty of water and be prepared for wildlife. You can do this one in one day, or make it two by camping nearby.
Get outside and Enjoy them all! Visit CaliforniaAdventureDistrict.com for maps and directions to these trails. •