Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 13: Lassen National Park southern boundary to Snag Lake

a. 4555’ gain, ~60 miles. Night spent at ~5600’ elevation
b. Camped in rough camp at Snag Lake, Lassen National Forest. This was a very attractive meadow when we were there, but there was no lake and no water.
c. Food: Chester, which is the last source of food until Chico.
d. Road info: The first stretch was a long downhill run on paved 89. Then 19 miles of high quality dirt. Then a paved side trip into Chester for groceries. South of Chester was 34 miles of high quality dirt.
e. Water availability: Chester. Lost Creek/Butt Creek junction ~10 miles south of Chester on Humboldt Road (see note below). (We didn’t take notes about water availability after that and don’t remember.)
f. Miscellaneous Notes:
i. We didn’t quite follow Andreas’ route in the Lost Creek Plateau and Creek area. Rather than taking the lesser roads that Andreas recommended (which were not shown on the USFS map), we stayed on Lost Creek Road past Willow Springs Campground and south along Lost Creek.
ii. For the first few miles south from Chester, Andreas route follows the road very close to 89. We took the one shown on the USFS map that is about a mile west of 89 because the satellite image of the one Andreas mapped looked like it didn’t connect. Looking at Google Satellite image, we believe that the road (28N36) about 3-4 miles west of 89 would be more scenic, as it follows Lost Creek and some meadows, and passes near a USFS campground.
iii. If you don’t need to go into Chester for food, you could simply cross highway 89 at Soldier Meadows and continue ~6 miles to rejoin Andreas route via 28N36. Taking this route would mean riding all the way from Burney to Chico without passing through any sizable towns (i.e. no towns with grocery stores).
iv. There is water in Lost Creek where Humboldt Road crosses, at 4640’ elevation. It is a lovely valley. (Water was flowing when we were there in October of a dry year, so this water should be reliable.) Humboldt Road west of the crossing of Lost Creek, following Butt Creek to Humboldt Summit at 6610’ is lovely. The two Ruffa Ranch locations on the USFS map are old abandoned homestead buildings.
v. Riding south on Humboldt Road from the summit, you reach the Jonesville Road, called 26N27 on the USFS map. A right turn would put you on pavement. A left turn, which the route takes, keeps you on dirt. Notice the tag for the Backcountry Discovery Trail, which you’ll follow for a couple miles. When you reach Humbug Road, the Backcountry Discovery Trail goes north, but you go south.

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