Mount Hoffman is located northwest of Mt. Shasta
and south of Klamath Falls in the California Cascades. Lava Beds National Monument
is a few miles north of Mount Hoffman. Mount Hoffman is located in the Modoc National Forest
near picturesque Medicine Lake.
Mt Hoffman is the tallest of a series of smaller volcanic peaks on the rim of the largest shield volcano in the United States. There are numerous fresh lava flows in the area. One is only 200 years old. This unique geologic area has many interesting sights to visit nearby.
Mount Hoffman is not a technical hike unless you want to visit the area in the winter. From November through June the area is usually covered with up to 10 feet of snow and is only accessible by snowmobile or cross country skis. Mount Hoffman ranks at #109 on the California top prominence peaks
with 2,353 ft of prominence. There are no trails to Mount Hoffman. It is a cross country hike from the nearest road.
Four primary routes access Medicine Lake Highlands:
1) From the town of Tulelake on Highway 139, follow the signs to the Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge; then proceed south through the Lava Beds National Monument and follow the signs along Forest Road 49 to Medicine Lake. This route is a part of the Modoc Volcanic Scenic Byway
2) From 17 miles south of Tulelake on Highway 139, take County Road 97 and travel 22 miles west to Medicine Lake.
3) From Highway 299, travel north on Highway 89 just east of Burney. Follow Highway 89 north to Bartle and take Forest Road 49 northward.
4) From Interstate 5, take Highway 89 eastward from Mt. Shasta City to Bartle, then northward on Forest Road 49.
There are no trails to Mount Hoffman. It is a cross country hike from the nearest road. I hiked from the north. I’m sure you could hike from the Medicine Lake area also.
No permits required unless you want a campfire. See the following link for campfire permits: Campfire Permit Info
For more information about the Modoc National Forest follow this link: Modoc Info
There are lots of camping areas within a few miles of the trailhead, including areas around Medicine Lake. All of these campgrounds are closed in the winter, so call ahead to the Forest Service to find out about access.
Medicine Lake Camping Info
Other Camping Info
There are lots of places to backpack camp in the area. Your only limitation here is probably your imagination. There are even bivy sites near the summit if you want to do that, but this hike can easily be done in a couple of hours.
When to Climb
The best time to climb Mount Hoffman is in the summer or fall. During the Winter and Spring the area is covered with deep snow and the roads are not cleared for vehicle travel.
The mountain is not accessible in the Winter and Spring. During the Summer and Fall, the area is subject to thunderstorms and you should check the weather forecast before hiking. The closest town is Tulelake, California