Red Buttes Boundary Trail #5254
ElevationAscent: 900' 274 m
Descent: -1,354' -413 m
High: 5,963' 1,818 m
Low: 5,184' 1,580 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)
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“A higher altitude connecting trail between the PCT and Lonesome Lake with picturesque views.”— Jeremy Brady
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.
Black-tailed deer, black bears, squirrels. Less common are bobcats and mountain lions. Birds include eagles, falcons, hawks, owls, ravens, and Steller's jay.
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