This was opening day of a trip pursuing county high points for an itinerary that ended up (adaptability and all that) including Modoc, Lassen, Siskiyou, Lake/Colusa, Glenn, Mendocino, Butte, Tehama, Humboldt, & Trinity counties. (As it happens, Siskiyou -- Mt. Shasta -- was the primary objective on this tour, and it was the only unsuccessful summit attempt.)
While awaiting the favorable Sunday-Monday weather window on Shasta, I headed to relatively non-demanding Eagle Peak & Hat Mountain. These two work great as a pair due to their proximity to one another. As such, for efficiency's sake, I opted for the Patterson approach due to its proximity to Hat Mountain. Roads coming in from Likely were fine for any vehicle. I encountered a few vehicles on the way in but not a soul was at the trailhead/campground. The trailhead register did reveal that a party of 2 had been there earlier in the day.
I got a late start due to starting my day in Central Oregon, as well as some lollygagging en route. Thus I came prepared to finish in the dark.
A couple things of note regarding the Patterson route. First, the trail does not appear to be recently maintained (not that I would expect it to be this recently after winter). But I would not expect it to be so anytime soon. The trail occasionally fades in and out, but generally it is pretty easy to follow. A rare cairn will help guide the way. Second, the only water sources I came across were two scant streams (at miles 2.5 & 3.5), and based on their volume, I cannot see them lasting long into the season.
At 4 miles, hardened pellets of snow began to fall, but it ended almost as soon as it started.
I reached an old trail junction sign at 5.5 miles. Initially I took the left fork, since I thought “summit trail” was where I wanted to go -- but it quickly became apparent after 100 yards as I could see the trail descending down a broad valley that this was not the correct path. Then I realized, the fork is where the choose-your-own-adventure starts. I departed from the trail and followed the contour through the trees after regaining some elevation. A couple resilient snow drifts required stomping over but nothing major. Once out of the trees I started tracing up to the saddle.
At this point I was finally exposed to the crosswinds, and ascending from the saddle my pace slowed to a crawl. My large frame takes wind like a barn door, so I was constantly bracing myself during rest-steps. Once in the sparse trees above the saddle I had some respite, but this also started the scree section which prevented me picking up the pace again. The dark clouds that had been threatening overtook the summit, and on a couple occasions flurries blew in, never lasting more than a couple minutes. In the last 400-500 vertical feet, bands of snow presented themselves, and kick-stepping up these was a welcome break from the scree — as was plunge-stepping on the descent.
Suffice to say, amid the wind and flurries, I did not hang out up there. I did note a rusty square tin container under the cairn but I did not bother with it in the conditions. I did not find a benchmark.
On my descent I ended up a little off my ascending track as I was hastily descending out of the clouds, but I quickly regained it. Once out of the clouds, clearings to the west favored me on the remaining trek back to the trailhead. I was back to the vehicle about an hour after sunset. 3:40 up; 3:10 down.
Started at Emerson Trailhead and took the gradual trail up the left side. Used some bad info from ranger station and took quite a bit longer to summit (4:40) but only 1:50 back to trailhead. Loved the views.
From Patterson Guard Station, it was about 7.8 miles, after the initial 700 feet of gain it was quite gentle, as we made our way to the base of Eagle Peak by following the Summit Trail. From there it became steep, first through scrub and then through 600 feet of steep and loose pebbles and sandy talus. This part was the toughest on the day. We summited 3:45 after starting out, spent 45 minutes on summit, then retraced back down, bagging PK 8743 (P300) and then the WSC listed Emerson Peak on our way back. The total journey wound up being about 9:15 with 4300 feet of gain and about 17.5 miles.
There was bad weather for weeks in WA so Heather and I drove through OR, CA, NV, UT, and ID. We climbed 37 peaks in 19 days. We hiked Eagle Peak on our 4th day. Heather said this hike reminded her of the CDT. There was still a lot of snow in the trees near the summit. trip report
Beautiful weather and I had the mountain all to myself. Thanks to Dean & Al (both of whom had already done this one) for convincing me that I should do this one since I was this close (I had done Hat Mtn the day before with Al and had planned to go to Oregon this day). Glad I did it.
Great hike from the Emerson Campground. The trail was a bit overgrown but easy to follow. Fantastic views from the summit. Mt. Shasta was awesome. All-in-all a fun and pretty mellow hike. Hiked Hat Mtn the previous day.
Carpets of wildflowers, a slight haze but expansive views form the summit nonetheless. Leisurely ascent. 12.7 miles 4302 vertical
We took advantage of the "June-uary" weather for a dayhike up Eagle from the Emerson Trailhead. Successful 10.5-hr hike with Matt & Tim. Snow was generally in good condition and temps were warm for this time of year.
A beautiful day starting at the campsite at the N. Emerson Lake TH. The 40 degree morning was perfect for this steep trail, deep in loose dirt and dust churned up by the many equestian users. The going was actually easier once off-trail on the SE ridge, at least until the loose scree above about 9,300'. I took a leisurely 4 hours, 12 minutes for the ascent but got back to the TH in only 1 hour, 48 minutes for an exact 6 hours total time. It was about 55 to 60 degrees on top with views all the way to Lassen and Shasta. I had this mountain and even the campground entirely to myself for a most peaceful day.
On Labor Day weekend from Mill Creek Falls Campground and Poison Flat. Without a doubt my favorite campground, there was enough firewood stacked at each campsite to last a year or two. Love the remoteness too.
Hiked this with Duane and Grant. Perfect conditions, nice trail. We wanted it because of its 4000+ feet of prominence.
A fun hike. The view was great. Very dry though, no water at all past the lake.
A day of P2Ks and CoHPs, Hays Canyon Pk, Hat Mt and Eagle Pk.
A great day day three of my trip. Along the way I saw 2 mules and a horse teathered to trees and a nearby large canvas tent but no other signs of life. As I camedown from the mountain I met up with a guy on the horse followed by the two mules fully packed up and finally a gent on foot with 5 dogs. They spoke only spanish, but told me they were tending sheep up here. I saw no sheep, but did see the droppings.
A quick three hour effort, the second highpoint of the day (with Hat Mtn), and the last of the California County Highpoints for me. Trip Report
Fun dayhike on the standard trail to Modoc's highpoint.
I climbed with Dean and we only got lost once. Crossing the big meadow, it is easy to lose the trail. We continued cross country towards our objective until we stumbled across the trail again. This is a great hike if you want solitude. Bring lots of water in the summer.
Dennis Poulin and i met at the Falls Creek Campground and after a good nights rest, started up the trail before the sun started heating things up.
It turned out to be a hot day but we had adequate water to carry us through our 16 mile day and 4200 foot effort. The summit was a great place to spend an hour but we did not escape the bugs that plagued us most of the way. Still, a great day and it was nice to get another California county highpoint taken care of.
Dennis had done Star Peak in Nevada and nearby Hat Mtn the day before. I had done Shasta, Mt. Eddy, and Lassen Peak on successive days prior to doing this one. What a great week.