Adams Peak is a seldom climbed peak in northeast California. It is ranked #128 on the California Prominence
list with 2,197 ft of prominence. Adams Peak is located alongside US Hwy 395 between Susanville and Reno. The
Plumas National Forest
is home for Adams Peak.
Adams Peak is a forested summit that rises above the arid desert area that extends from Reno all the way up to Susanville. The summit has great views in all directions. There is a Sierra Club register on the summit that dates back to the 1970’s. There aren’t a lot of signatures in the register for being there for almost 30 years.
West of Adams Peak is Frenchman Lake
. Frenchman Lake offers lots of camping and fishing
for those so inclined. West of Frenchman Lake is another prominence peak Dixie Mountain, elevation 8,327 ft. There is an active fire lookout on the summit of Dixie Mountain and is worth the side trip to visit. Dixie Mountain is located in a State Game Refuge and I saw a bear on the access road to the lookout.
You can approach Adams Peak from either the east side or the west side. The east side approach is from US Hwy 395 and the west side approach is from Frenchman Lake. Since I used the east side approach, that is the only one I will list here at this time.
Get on US Hwy 395 between Reno and Susanville. About 40 miles south of Susanville or 2.4 miles south of the little town of Doyle there is a paved signed road on the west side of the highway named Constantia Rd. Follow this for 1.6 miles as it parallels Hwy 395 to a gravel road on your right. It has a sign for road 24N22X and it indicated Adams Peak 5 miles and Crystal Peak 8 miles. Don’t believe anything on the sign. It is the last sign you will see.
This road is ok in the summer and 2WD may be fine for the first 7.8 miles. High clearance will save your oil pan on this one. I drive a 4WD Tacoma and I wouldn’t drive this if it was wet or muddy. The dirt on the road looked like it would turn to slime in a hurry and there were ruts on most of the road where people have attempted to drive. If it is wet you won’t be able to keep from sliding down into the ruts.
Zero your odometer when you turn off Constantine Road. There is a nice campsite about .1 mile up this road. Go 1.0 mile stay left. At 1.4 miles take the right fork. At 5.4 miles pass through an old log landing. At 6.8 miles turn right up the hill. This road is not on the topo. At 7.8 miles you enter an old log landing and this is a good place to stop unless you definitely have 4WD and you don’t mind scratches down the side of your vehicle from the brush. Elevation here is about 6,850 ft.
If you are a bear for punishment, continue up the road another mile until the road peters out into a dirt bike trail. Elevation here is about 7,450 ft.
No Red Tape here. This is public forest land with no restrictions.
Lots of good camping is available at Frenchman Lake
If you want to back pack, there are flat spots near the summit in a little saddle just north of the summit.
When to Climb
The easiest time to climb this peak is in the summer or early fall. Winter access can be problematic.
There should be no problem accessing Adam Peak during the summer and early fall. Winter time access might best be done on foot from the Highway 395 or Frenchman Lake. There can be considerable snow load in the winter in this area and elevation.