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Red Buttes Boundary Trail #5254

Difficult

Trail

7.0 mile 11.2 kilometer point to point
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 900' 274 m
Descent: -1,354' -413 m
High: 5,963' 1,818 m
Low: 5,184' 1,580 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Jeremy Brady

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A higher altitude connecting trail between the PCT and Lonesome Lake with picturesque views.

Jeremy Brady

Features Fall Colors · Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Requires a hike along the PCT or one of a few trails leading into the Lonesome Lake area. Generally closed during winter months due to snowpack.

Need to Know

The two perennial water sources are Kangaroo Springs along the PCT and Lonesome Lake. Make sure to stock up. The trail also has significant southern exposure without minimal coverage. Plan accordingly for water and the elements.

Description

The Red Buttes Boundary Trail connects the PCT: Seiad Valley to Highway 5 (near Ashland, OR) to the northern Greyback Ranges. It is part of the Red Buttes Wilderness, which is named for the higher iron/magnesium content in the serpentine and peridotite formations prevalent in the area. Along the trail you'll have views ranging southeast to southwest, covering Mt. Shasta and the Marble Mountains and west to parts of the coastal range.

From Kangaroo Springs, you'll follow the PCT up a small series of switchbacks out of the basin. Just under 1 mile from Kangaroo Springs, the PCT will take a 270-degree turn left and the boundary trail will continue forward. At the time of this writing, the signpost was present, but no longer standing.

Straight ahead will be the boundary trail along the southern edge of the ridgeline for the most part. For the next 2.5-3 miles, you'll hike beneath views of Desolation Peak and Rattlesnake Mountain. From here, you'll descend through a series of short switchbacks, working around a southern formation and back onto the ridgeline headed west-northwest.

At about 3.5 miles, you'll crest a saddle where you have beautiful views both north and south. On a clear day, you'll be able to see Mt. McLoughlin, Mt. Shasta, and down into the Trinity Alps and Marble Mountains. There is a rock pinnacle here that is great for panoramic photographs.

Continuing on, you'll eventually travel around the southern edge of Goff Butte before intersecting with the Fort Goff Trail. At this point, you'll be about 6.5 miles along the Boundary Trail and 7.5 miles from Kangaroo Springs. At the intersection here, you'll be able to hear and see the creek coming off Lonesome Lake, and either this or a short 0.25-mile hike to Lonesome will net you a reliable water source.

Flora & Fauna

Fauna:
Black-tailed deer, black bears, squirrels. Less common are bobcats and mountain lions. Birds include eagles, falcons, hawks, owls, ravens, and Steller's jay.

Flora:
Old-growth forests including Douglas fir, Incense cedar, Sugar pine, Ponderosa pine, with a combination on the higher slopes of White fir, Shasta red fir, and Mountain hemlock. You can spot Knobcone pine, Western white pine, Jeffrey pine, and Brewer spruce clumped in outcrops.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed

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Jun 22, 2019
Jeremy Brady
Overall good conditions. Some mild small-tree blow-over that's easy to hike around. Nice and clear, not overgrown until after Lonesome Lake. 7.5mi — 4h 06m

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#2497

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Trail Rankings

#291

in California

#2,497

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5 Views Last Month
78 Since Jul 5, 2019
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Photos

Looking northwest along the boundary trail.
Jul 17, 2019 near Happy Camp, CA
Looking southeast toward Mt. Shasta
Jul 17, 2019 near Happy Camp, CA
Boundary trail at the ridgeline, looking west toward Rattlesnake Mountain
Jul 17, 2019 near Happy Camp, CA
Looking back east toward Red Butte
Jul 17, 2019 near Happy Camp, CA
Preston Peak from the PCT near Upper Devils Peak
Nov 22, 2017 near Happy Camp, CA

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