Hirz Mountain P750
Hirz Mountain Lookout
Bollibokka Mountain P1K
Peak 3,525ft P300
Nosoni Mountain P300

Thu, May 10, 2018
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPXs: 1 2 3 Profiles: 1 2

With a few free days, I headed north on a P1K mission. My targets were around the Lake Shasta Area, along Fenders Ferry Rd 27 that winds its way through mountainous terrain for almost 40mi from the McCloud Bridge on Lake Shasta to SR299. Along the way were many spurs to various peaks, some successful, others less-so. Poison oak is rampant throughout the area and was often the reason for not making it to one peak or another. Ticks, too, were present, though not abundantly. I flicked a few off my clothing and non-chalantly flicked one off my hat the next morning before I put it on. No bites, this time out. I was out the door in San Jose around 6a, getting gas outside Redding at the TA Travel Center. From there my gas would just last for the two days it took to drive Fenders Ferry Rd 27, refueling in Burney on SR299.

Bear Mtn (Peak 2,659ft)

Fail - I drove out on Bear Mtn Rd to Jones Valley, finding the gate to the lookout locked and signed for No Trespassing. This one needs to be stealthed. Note that Bear Mtn is not the actual P1K, which is the next bump to the north, Peak 2,659ft. The cross-country climb from the road may be brushy, so a night hike doesn't seem advised.

Bass Mtn

Fail - Though located on USFS lands, access is a significant problem here. Tunnel Rd goes to the summit from Mountain Gate on the west side of I-5, but not open to the public. The name comes from the tunnel the road goes through under railroad tracks that parallel I-5 on the west side. Unfortunately, the road goes through someone's property right before the tunnel and the tunnel is gated closed. There appears to be an alternate access to Tunnel Rd via a mining road, but that, too, is closed to public use. Please contact me if you figure out a way to this one.

Hirz Mountain/Hirz Mountain Lookout

This isn't a P1K, but after two failed summits and hours of driving, I was eager to claim some success. I saw a sign for the lookout on my way to McCloud Bridge, and with 840ft of prominence I figured it was worth a visit. The spur road was about 5mi in length and I was able to drive it to the locked gate just below the summit where I found a USFS truck parked. It took less than 10min to hike to the summit where I met a ranger in the tower. The tower has some pretty incredible views overlooking the McCloud River Arm of Shasta Lake. The slightly higher Hirz Mtn is found to the west. Returning to the Jeep, I drove back along the road about a mile, parking at a location just north of the higher Hirz Mtn. I went steeply up from the road, cross-country through forest before finding my way to the brushy summit. The top is loaded with poison oak and if I wasn't within a 100ft of the top I probably would have turned back. Lots of dancing around through the stuff to find the summit rocks buried under more of the same, with no views. I was beginning to realize how rough this area can be.

Hanland Peak

Fail - This one started out promising. A dirt road forks off just before McCloud Bridge, going seven miles to get me within a mile of Hanland Peak, a P1K. The road ended, but I followed a hunters' trail through forest and logging zones, making some use of old logging roads before running out of luck. I made my way about 1/4 of the distance to the summit when I called a halt as the poison oak became abundant and unavoidable. On a daytrip I could just push through it all and then wrap my clothes up as contaminated when I got back, use a generous supply of Technu while showering, wash my clothes and call it good. When out for a few days, continuing on would risk contaminating the Jeep and everything in it. With plans to spend a few night sleeping inside, poison oak could not be ignored so easily. Back I went. I had failed on the first three P1Ks so far, not a good sign.

Bollibokka Mtn/Peak 3,525ft/Nosoni Mtn

I drove to the end of the pavement at the McCloud Bridge, then started on Road 27. Bollibokka Mtn is about 1.6mi due east of the bridge. A spur road goes 4.5mi up to a saddle northeast of the summit, about 1.8mi away. It was almost twice the distance as Hanland Peak which did not give me much hope, but I decided I needed to at least find out. I was glad I did. The cross-country along the ridgeline wasn't bad at all, and the poison oak mostly avoidable. I came across a kingsnake that made me jump though it never moved a muscle while I watched it. It took me about 70min to make my way to the summit where I found views in most directions. Snowy Mt. Lassen to the southeast, Mt. Shasta to the northwest. I found no register but left one, happy to finally have made it one of these P1Ks, and a good one, too. Back at the Jeep, I decided to visit Peak 3,525ft, an easy bonus only 0.4mi north of where I parked. An old logging road goes most of the way to the summit, followed by some careful navigation through a PO-infested area to find a weak summit. A partial view to the north can be had. A mile east of where I'd parked is Nosoni Mtn, so after returning to the Jeep a second time, I drove it a mile towards Nosoni, parking on the road below the steep SW Slopes. Though only 1/4mi away at this point, it was a tough climb up slippery slopes to find no views at the summit, but a modestly interesting class 3 summit block made tricky by the poison oak strategically growing around it. I left a register on this one, too. It was after 7:30p by the time I returned to the Jeep. I hadn't put in may miles on foot today, but they were a tough few miles.

I showered and then did more driving, finding my way to the starting point for Salt Creek Mtn in the dark. A P2K, there are numerous TRs on PB and elsewhere that one can find, so I knew this one was a sure thing for the next day, something I sorely needed...


seano comments on 05/14/18:
"The Jeep"? Wow, congrats! I thought you'd never get a suitable vehicle, since you have had such luck hitching rides with others. Now you need to take it out to Colorado and put it to good use.
It will be heading there for two weeks at the end of July. Should be great fun.
Scott H. comments on 05/16/18:
Sorry to hear about the abundance of poison oak. As I recall from your prior trip reports to Northern California sounded like it was not such a concern. Maybe you are starting at a lower elevation trailhead (you can find it up to 5000 feet per internet)? You are in some unique habitat (shallow soils, disturbed soils from road building) where it thrives? Or something else? I see some poison oak near Columbia Gorge trails in Oregon, but I have been able to avoid it.
PO can be found from sea level to about 5,000ft in non-desert regions of CA. Some places are very bad - Santa Cruz Mtns, Big Sur, Marin County, Lake Shasta come to mind, other places less so. It thrives in a mediterranean climate. Oregon coastal regions are wetter and cooler, which seems to help keep the stuff in check. Coastal NorCal is much like Oregon in that respect. Lake Shasta is inland and very hot in the summertime - more like Central California.
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