Trail takes one to the top of Prospect Peak
, an ancient shield volcano. At 8,338 ft. tall, there are great views from the peak.
Trail begins 0.4 miles from Butte Lake Campground. A trail sign pointing the way to East Prospect Peak
marks the start of this trail. Head west in the fir forest here to begin hiking to the top of Prospect Peak
. Most of the trail is in the forest as the trail climbs continually and gradually.
At first there is very little ground cover, but as the trail gains altitude, beautiful bright green pinemat manzanita covers the ground. It is a very pretty forest, although only teaser views of the surrounding mountains give a hint of what's to come.
At the 2.8 mile mark, about a half mile before the trail ends, the trail breaks out of the trees and circles around the summit on the southern slopes of Prospect Peak
. And the views emerge, and OMG, what views they are - Lassen Peak
, Chaos Crags, Cinder Cone
, Snag Lake, Red Cinder and Red Cinder Cone
, Mt. Harkness and more. As the trail rounds a bend to the north, views to the northwest are seen, all the way to the flat lands. As a bonus, Mt. Shasta, 14,179 ft., over 70 miles away is visible.
The trail ends at a USGS benchmark on the northwest side of Prospect Peak
. The top of Prospect Peak
is relatively flat and covered with thin fir forest and brush, making it easy to explore further. There is a nice view of Butte Lake and hills into the distance to the northeast if one continues on a short ways.
Thin fir forest. Ground cover is pinemat manzanita in places towards the top, and brushy on the top. Deer live here.