Grouse Mountain P900
Peak 4,980ft
Fox Mountain P1K
Fredonyer Peak P2K GBP

Thu, Jul 25, 2019
Grouse Mountain
Fredonyer Peak
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 GPX


The last day of a four-day roadtrip to NoCal saw me in the northeast corner of the state finishing up the CA P2Ks with a visit to Fredonyer Peak. I didn't expect there to be any actual hiking as it appeared the three summits I had planned for the day were all drive-ups, or nearly so. I'd spent the night atop another drive-up, Happy Camp Mtn, and was up sometime around 6a to start my day.

Grouse Mountain

This P900 is found on the east side of SR299, roughly halfway between the towns of Alturas and Adin. A decent Forest Service road leads from the pavement to the summit at just below 7,000ft. There is a telecom installation found here with the highest rocks found outside the fenced area to the west (someone had left the gate open, so it would have been easy had the highpoint been inside). Views are mostly blocked by trees, but there is a modest view looking west, mostly forgettable.

Peak 4,980ft

Back down to the highway, this minor summit is located across the pavement on the west side, with a spur forest road leading nearly to the summit. It's a very short walk to the highpoint, again with unimpressive views.

Fox Mountain

This P1K is located about 7mi northwest of Adin. A good forest road leads from the town up Barber Canyon with a spur road leading to the summit where a lookout once stood. Most of the mountain burned in the 2017 Cove Fire and there were crews out doing salvaging operations during my visit. I had wondered why they often wait several years after a fire before salvaging but watching them at work offered a clue. Rather than use chain saws to down the trees, they have a large machine that can grab the tree by the trunk 5-10ft from the ground and simply break it off at the roots. I suspect immediately after a fire there is still too much moisture in the root system to make this work, but after a few years the trees have dried out and the roots would be far more brittle. I drove past the operation and then onto my spur road, only to find that the loggers had parked one of their trailers in the middle of the road. This left me with a few miles of hiking, giving me an opportunity to get some exercise. On the way up I followed the road through a couple of switchbacks, but on the decent I chose a more direct cross-country line down that proved faster despite a moderate amount of brush. The highpoint is located about 1/3mi southeast of where the lookout once stood (now just a concrete pad), among a small rock outcrop with mostly open views. There is a benchmark here, but no register that I could find. I spent about 50min on the roundtrip effort.

Fredonyer Peak

Fredonyer is located about 20mi north of Susanville and east of Eagle Lake. It lies on BLM lands and the lookout is manned by CalFire personnel. Most of the mountain is covered in grass and sagebrush, a desert peak of the Great Basin. I spent almost two hours driving south from Fox Mtn to Fredonyer, the last 35min taken in driving the 10mi of somewhat rough forest road to the top of Fredonyer. I thought it rather surprising that the road was in such poor shape, but the attendant explained that the CalFire folks have permission to use the shorter route from the west that goes through a private ranch. The permission to use it is given in exchange for the BLM maintaining the road through the property. Since this other route is only half the length, it's cheaper to maintain, but it leaves the public with a pretty crappy alternative. I spent some time talking to the friendly occupant, in his first season on this particular lookout. The views are rather outstanding as one might expect for a P2K, stretching off to the horizon in all directions. Before I left he asked me to sign his visitor log which I duly did before starting the long drive back down the mountain. I had a much longer drive to get myself back to San Jose, about seven hours' worth. It was a somewhat wimpy end to the roadtrip, but I would have plenty of opportunity to stretch my legs with the start of the Sierra Challenge in another week...

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