It had been a year since I'd last visited Northern California, so when I was
contacted by Sean Casserly to see if I was interested in a hike to Cabin Peak,
a P1K deep in the Trinity Alps, I readily agreed. It had been nearly two
weeks since my last peakbagging foray, so I decided to head out a few days
early to do some other peaks in the area. I got up very
early and left San Jose around 4a so that I could get a good half day of
peakbagging in after some 7hrs of driving. I was heading to the Marble Mtns
in the far northern part of the state, west of Yreka. Much of the Marble Mtns
are taken up by the Marble Mountain Wilderness where I planned to hike the
next day, but today's peaks were outside the Wilderness to the north in an
area with numerous Forest Roads to make all of these short, easy hikes.
Tom Martin Peak
This was the highest peak of the day and a P1K. I had tried to reach it along
with Lake Mountain a few years earlier from the north, but found it blocked by
downed trees - it was too early in the season and the road had not yet been
cleared by the Forest Service. Today I approached from the south and the Scott
Bar River. A decent
climbs more than 4,000ft as it switchbacks up
the SW Ridge of Tom Martin Peak and eventually reaches the low saddle northwest
of the summit. The topo map shows a spur road then climbing to the 6,200-foot
level to a higher saddle, but this was blocked by
soon after I
turned off onto it. It appears that this road is no longer maintained
for vehicle use. No matter, it would take less than 40min to reach the summit,
initially up the continuing road, then cross-country through
that had burned in the 2014 Happy Camp Fire.
survived the fire in small pockets, and these are helping to
repopulate the slopes, but it a long way from recovery, still.
had with a nice view of Lake Mountain
to . A register dated , but I suspect it is older
than that. Rodents did a number on the pages and probably removed the earliest
ones for nesting material.
This is a very minor summit with little prominence, found between Tom Martin and
Lake Mountain. A spur road, somewhat brushy, makes this , the
summit carpeted with a mix of conifers and manzanita.
I had wanted to get to this summit for quite a few years as it lands on the
, and is one of the four peaks I had remaining on it. It is a bit of a
letdown since it is . There's a manned USFS lookout tower at
the top. The occupant was not wearing the standard Forest Service uniform, but
a tye-died shirt and shorts and playing very much the hermit hippy. The inside
of the tower was neatly kept, all the drawers labeled with the items they held.
One of these was labeled "Incense" and there was a thin stick burning when I
walked up. He was a congenial fellow and we got along nicely. He lives in the
tower for 4-5 days at a stretch, then retreats to Fort Jones where he occupies
a bare-bones, USFS hostel-like room that he gets for free (I think). There's a
at the north end of the summit area, though no
frisbees that I saw. He doesn't get many visitors and seemed to appreciate the
ones he does get. I didn't stay very long, but we talked about some of the roads
I might use to let me make a loop of the drive. He hadn't driven most of these
himself, but had maps that showed which ones are still maintained, which I found
Though only about a mile southeast of Lake Mountain, there's no direct road
between them. Instead, I would spend almost an hour plying the various Forest
roads going quite a few miles around the north side of Lake Mtn on twisty roads
of decent quality. Spur Forest Rd 45N19Y goes over
of this minor summit, leaving a 5min walk to
over . The summit is ,
partially flanked by trees.
Roughly a mile SSW of Peak 6,300ft, the drive was a lot shorter, only ten
minutes. I parked at on the north side and followed
up for about half an hour
to . There is a nice view to of
Lake Mtn and Tom Martin. I left under the small cairn
someone had built on the summit.
This summit has more than 600ft of prominence and lies about a mile south of
Peak 6,386ft. 25min of driving on Forest roads got me to ,
about half a mile west of the summit. Less than 30min of cross-country travel up
the west side side saw me to . There is a good deal of
downfall from the 2014 fire scattered about the upper slopes. On the way back I
detoured more to the northwest for somewhat less downfall to negotiate. I left
at the summit.
This is a much lower summit that I passed by on the drive back down to the Scott
River. I parked where FR46N64 goes over a saddle on ,
leaving an easy 15min hike to . The view
overlooks the Scott River drainage with the Scott Bar Mtns on the far side. It
was well after 6p by the time I ,
the sun well on its way to setting over the western mountains.
I showered at the parking space, then headed to Fort Jones where I got dinner
at Five Marys Burgerhouse. One of only a few dining places in town, the food
was decent and the service excellent. Afterwards, I headed south on SR3 to
Greenview, then Forest roads to the Kidder Creek TH on the eastern boundary of
the Marble Mtn Wilderness. I met some friendly hunters with their preteen sons
who were also camping at the TH. More fun tomorrow...