Lowrey Peak lies along the Blue Ridge near the boundry of Yolo and Colusa counties. The ridge is an continuation of the Cortina Ridge located to the north, however Cache Creek has cut a 2,000 ft canyon between them. Lowrey stands over 2,500 feet above the creek as well as nearby Fiske Creek to the west.
The wilderness hiking and peak hiking possibilities of Cache Creek country are fantastic. The land west of Hwy 16 is as close to true wilderness as you can come in the midst of the Bay Area.
There are two directions to approach the summit. The standard approach follows the Blue Ridge trail, first tagging nearby Fiske. This approach is approximately 6-7 miles one way with about 2,500 ft of elevation gain. The shorter, and less frequentely used approach is from the south. This route requires a fairly long ( 10+ miles) offroad drive on Rayhouse Road and Fiske Creek Road to the Blue Ridge. Be aware that the road is rough, and possibly impassible due to washouts. The hike from that point is about 2 mile one way to the summit.
Both hikes are pretty straight forward, class 1 trail hiking. There is a bit of bushwhacking required after the trail leaves Fiske.
To reach the Blue Ridge Trail, or Rayhouse Road, you need to cross a low water bridge over Cache Creek. In the winter, the bridge may be submerged and unpassable. Once the rainy season begins, the Rayhouse Road is usually closed to motorized traffic.
A wealth of additional information on the Cache Creek Area can be found at Yolohiker.org.
- From the Bay Area: Take I-80 east to Reno. In Vacaville, turn north on I-505. Continue to Hwy 16, west of Woodland. Go west on Hwy 16 for approximately 27 miles. The road narrows and is on the south side of the creek. The Cache Creek bridge takes the road to the north side of the creek. The parking area is a few miles beyond the bridge on the left.
- From Sacramento: Take I-5 north to Woodland. Exit on Main Street. Main Street becomes Hwy 16. Continue on Hwy 16 until I-505 is reached. Follow directions above.
Parking is just to the southwest of the Cache Creek Regional park (Day Use Area) and is free. If the gate to the creek is open, you can drive on and cross on the low water bridge. The Blue Ridge Trail begins just after the bridge. The dirt road on the south side of the bridge is Rayhouse Road. The road eventually becomes Fiske Creek Road and will continue on until you get to the Blue ridge. Lowrey will be to the north at the terminus of the road.
Lowrey lies withing BLM lands in the Cache Creek Natural area, and as such there are few restrictions on use. No fees or permits are required. It is a primitive area, closed to motorized vehicles. There are no developed campgrounds or facilities. Non-hunting (target) shooting is not allowed. There are no use fees for hiking, biking or riding. There are no parking fees. Campfire permits are required.
The following link takes you to the BLM Cache Creek site with additional information
BLM -Cache Creek Natural Area
When To Climb
Fall and Spring are the best time to climb Lowrey, however Winter is also very nice. The summer will be extremely hot, and there is sure to be a lack of water on the hike up to the peak.
Be mindful of ticks in the spring. Clothing and pets should be checked regularly! The little buggers have ample opportunity to afix themselves due to the brushy nature of the terrain (ie. Bushwack)
This is a great peak for winter. Be aware that the terrain can be very muddy and slippery, but should pose no real problems.
Developed campsites are located just west of Lowrey at the Cache Creek Regional park, and are adminstered by Yolo County.
As of January 3, 2004 fees were $17.00 for county residents and $19.00 for non-residents.
The link below takes you to their website
Cache Creek Regional Park
If you're too wiped out frm the hike and need a shower and bed, the Cache Creek Casino and Resort is located about 7 miles southeast of the area along Hwy 16.
Mountain ConditionsBureau of Land Management- Ukiah Field Office
2550 North State Street
Ukiah, CA 95482
Phone: (707) 468-4000
Fax: (707) 468-4027
Conditions should be very similar to any Cental Valley city. Hot in the summer. Potentially cold and foggy in the winter.