Poison Flat Trail

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 41.28350°N / 120.1997°W
Additional Information Route Type: hike
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: walk up
Sign the Climber's Log


On U.S. 395, drive south from Alturas 20 miles to the town of Likely and turn east onto SR 64. From Reno, it is a long haul, 162 miles to Likely. Follow road 64 9 miles do a junction with SR 258 but stay left on SR 64. Another 3 miles will bring you to a signed intersection for Mills Creek Falls campground, where you take a right on a paved road and go for almost two miles to the Mills Creek Falls Campground which contains the TH for Poison flats.

Route Description

From the TH in the campground, the trail heads up to a junction with a short trail that leads over to the Mill Creek Falls, a pretty side hike but if you're not interested in seeeing the falls, stay to the right and continue on up the trail to Clear Lake. In about one half mile, the trail merges with the Clear Lake loop trail, stay right. Continue along the lake until it starts up to the right from the Clear Lake trail and switchbacks up the hillside. At 2 1/2 miles from the TH, you will meet up with the Mill Creek trail. The trail drops slightly and here one encounters Poison Flats - a large meadow. The trail is easy to lose here but it goes directly across to the area along the southern edge of the meadow. Follow the large cairns spaced every hundred feet or so on the more rocky terrain. After less than one-half mile (maybe a quarter mile), re-enter the forest in an easterly direction.

Continue on this trail until you come to a junction with the East Creek trail, and take the left fork which heads north directly at the mountain.
After about a mile, gaining elevation gently and beginning to leave the forest behind and move into the sagebrush laden area, the trail will intersect another trail on the southwest flank of the mountain. It was at this point where we just started up crosscountry and aimed for the ridge line that first heads north but then bends to the north east. The summit is about two miles from where we left the trail and headed cross country and we had GPS coordinates to guide us but in clear weather that is not necessary because you can see where the summit is once you surmount the shoulder of the peak. Traveling up through more woods (white pines and some bristlecones), the grade steepens but never becomes difficult. The summit is marked with a small cairn and a register was found within the cairn. A benchmark is missing but the witness one is located just slightly down the slope to the west.
Great views in all directions.

Essential Gear

Good hiking shoes (boots or trail runners) and plenty of water on a hot day is a necessity as no water is found past Clear Lake. Also, sunscreen would be helpful.

Miscellaneous Info

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