Hillside oak by the Bally Peak trail
This is a small peak in the northwest part of the Cache Creek Wilderness
. It is bordered by Buckeye Canyon and Phipps Creek to the west and north and Perkins Creek to the east about 3 miles northeast of the town of Clearlake Highlands. Bally Peak is easily accessible from Hwy. 20. There is an old seldom used trail to the peak. The round trip hike can be done in a few hours. The summit area is loosely forested with oaks and brush. The views include Mt. St. Helena
and the Palisades
to the south, Mt. Konocti
above Clear Lake to the west. To the northwest are the peaks and ridges of the Mendocino National Forest. The eastern view is topped out with the Cortina Ridge and to the southeast Brushy Sky High dominates the horizon.
Trail start by the road side
Mt. Konocti from Bally PeakTake note: This trailhead is not easy to find. The starting point is an obscure gap in an old roadside fence next to some trees. It is very easy to drive right by it! Following these directions and photos should give enough beta to get there without error.
From the junction of Hwy 53 and Hwy 20 on the east side of Clear Lake take Hwy. 20 east 4.9 miles to the trailhead. There is a blue callbox sign on the left hand side of the road about a hundred yards before the trailhead which is on the right side of the road with some trees right before it. Park on the road side.
If you are coming from Interstate 5 take Hwy 20 just north of Williams. Go 32 miles to the trailhead on the left .6 miles past the sign to the Cache Creek Redbud Trail on the left.
Sign at trailhead a few yards in from the roadside entrance
Beginning of the trail up to the right just past the trail sign
Take the trail (an old abandoned road at first) up through the open area. Follow it along to the northeast side of Bally Peak (which is visible ahead). There is a big pine tree fallen on the trail about half way. Go around it and continue until the trail turns a hairpin up to the peak which a short distance away at that point.
The hike is approximately 3.5 miles round trip with a 1,300' gain.
For more info check out Bob Burd's trip report.
Cache Creek Wilderness from the Bally Peak trail
There are no posted restrictions for this hike. For rules and regulations for the Cache Creek Wilderness click here.
When to Climb
Northwest to Mendocino Nat. Forest from Bally Peak trail
Year around. There could be snow in winter. The terrain can get thick adobe muddy in the rainy season. In summer it can get upwards of 100 degrees.
East across the Cache Creek Wilderness from below Bally PeakClick here
for the Cache Creek Wilderness Regional Campground.
for some backpacking suggestions.
Weather and forecast
Salamander out in the wet weatherClick here
for the 10 days weather forecast for Clearlake.