Hot Springs Peak is located in the Skedaddle Wilderness Study Area which is located mostly in Lassen County, California. Most of the Skedaddle Wilderness Study Area is administered by the federal department of Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Skedaddle Range is located approximately 25 miles east of the town of Susanville, California. To the south is Honey Lake and Hwy 395. The California/Nevada border is just east of the range.
Hot Springs Peak is ranked at #53 on the California list of most Prominent Peaks
. This peak is exploring at its basic level -- there are no improved routes, no trail signs, no developments. Hot Springs Peak located in the Skedaddle Mountains is located on the northwestern edge of the arid Great Basin characterized by eroded volcanic mountains and expansive desert valleys.
It is easy to find the Skedaddle Mountains, but it is difficult to find a good place from which to hike the peak. There are private land areas to the east of the summit, that block the easiest approach to the summit. I drove completely around this small range looking for the perfect starting place and finally settled on an approach from the west.
From Susanville take Hwy 36 east to the junction with Hwy 395 and turn NORTH on Hwy 395. Travel 15.3 miles North on Hwy 395 to the signed paved road to Wendell and turn right or east. Stay on this road for about 3.5 miles, past a energy production plant, over the railroad tracks, and then just after a sharp right turn there is a dirt road on the left signed as 26019.
This dirt road has lots of forks and it looks like it is an OHV playground on the weekends. Stay on the main road and stay left at all the forks. Head into the canyon you see straight ahead. If you end up in a very dusty area and are driving over moguls (like I did), turn around and go back to the main road and try again.
At the last left at about 2.3 miles from the paved road the dirt road gets a little more rocky and traverses up the side of a hill towards a saddle. At 4.2 miles from the paved road there is a saddle and this is a good place to stop. A 2WD car should be able to make it here if the road is dry. Beyond here the road becomes much worse and takes you downhill away from the summit. From this saddle (elevation 5,200 ft) you can see your first objective straight ahead. The western end of Hot Springs Peak is straight ahead. The summit is out of site from the saddle. It is all cross country hiking from here.
No permits are required. Maps and information are available at:
Bureau of Land Management
Eagle Lake Field Office
2950 Riverside Drive
Susanville, CA 96130
Phone: (530) 257-0456
Fax: (530) 257-4831
Bureau of Land Management
California requires Campfire Permits. If you create a campfire of any kind on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or National Park Service, you will need a campfire permit.
Campfire permits are free of charge, and may be obtained from any Bureau of Land Management Office in California. You may also obtain campfire permits from any of the following agencies: US Forest Service, National Park Service, or California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
On private land you must have written permission from the landowner for campfire use. If you smoke outside a vehicle, be sure you do so within a cleared area at least 3 feet in diameter.
The closest campgrounds are near Susanville. The following link has campground information near Eagle Lake.
BLM area Camping
The BLM allows camping anywhere on there land if you behave yourself. There is room to camp on the saddle at the trailhead. This is where I camped the night before my climb.
If you want to backpack and camp on the mountain there are places to bivy on the each of the three summits of Hot Springs Peak. There is no water on any of them, so bring all you need.
No one tracks the conditions on this mountain. For weather information check the conditions in Susanville and make your own decision about the weather and your experience.