Etymology Story

This was the first day of a short roadtrip to NorCal to continue working on my quest of the CA P1Ks. Freaner Peak was the only P1K in this bunch, the others just bonus peaks in the area. All of them are located in Lassen National Forest between two P2Ks, Burney Mtn and Crater Peak. Leaving San Jose around 7a, I didn't get started with the hikes until 1p, leaving me about half a day. I extended the outing until after sunset to give me more time, and I ended up with a nice collection of summits in about seven hours' time.

Freaner Peak

This was the only one that was a semi-serious hike, about 3mi each way and 2,000ft of gain. I used the Cypress Trailhead on the west side of the peak. A good trail goes to Lake Eiler found on the south side of Freaner, but I didn't reach the lake or even see it on my visit. After about 2mi on the trail I turned right to head up to the peak cross-country for the last mile. The south side of the peak has some dense slopes of manzanita at chest level that are to be avoided. Other large sections of the mountain are volcanic boulder fields, so my route was chosen to follow through forest sections as much as possible since these had the easiest travel. There are no trip reports available on PB, so I was a little concerned that I might find some heavy bushwhacking. I was happy to find no serious brush at all with careful route-finding, taking only 90min to reach the top. The views are open in all directions, Burney and Crater the obvious bigger peaks on either side. Behind Burney can be seen snowy Mt. Shasta and to the south of Crater is Lassen Peak. The bonus peaks I was interested in were all to the west, north and northeast. Finding no register among the summit rocks, I left one of my own before returning back via nearly the same route.

Horse Heaven Buttes West

This one is located 3.5mi west of Freaner. Forest roads get one to within 0.35mi on the NE side of the peak. A clear-cut is found just off the road, but most of the route goes through dense forest. Lots of downfall, but no brush, at least. The summit is buried in forest with no views. I only visited the higher west summit. With only 200ft of prominence, I didn't bother with the east summit.

Twin Buttes

These two summits are found 3mi NNW of Freaner Peak. The 2014 Eiler Fire burned over much of the terrain east and north of Freaner, leaving lots of dead snags. There was a lot of salvage logging, but most of the snags remain. Brush is growing back in the meantime, though currently it isn't too hard to wade through the thickest of it. A forest road goes across the saddle between the two peaks and I used this as my starting point for both. I went up the brushier north side of the higher south butte and then returned to the jeep before going up the north butte. There were views on both summit thanks to the fire, but trees would otherwise them. Burney Mtn looms high only a few miles to the northwest, dominating the view from the north butte. Freaner Peak can be seen to advantage from the south butte.

Doyle Butte

This butte lies 3mi north of Twin Buttes. Decent forest roads lead very close to the summit, within 0.20mi on the south side. There's little gain and moderate brush to make it to the summit in about 5min. The town of Burney can be seen about five miles to the northwest along SR299. Burney Mtn dominates the view to the west.

Cornaz Peak

This minor summit has 760ft of prominence, the second highest for the day's collection. A dirt road gets within 0.35mi on the southwest side. Modest brush and a steep slope lead to up the summit. The rocky summit is open to views, again thanks to the same fire that swept over this peak, too. There are numerous small rock cairns and some broken glass about the base of the summit rocks. Seems to get at least a few visitors. Hat Creek Valley and SR89 lie 1.5mi to the east and 2,000ft below Cornaz Peak. Good cell reception from here.

Red Rock Hill

This last peak was done after sunset with barely enough light to see by. A rough road winds up towards the peak from the northwest, getting within about 0.40mi. There was moderate brush with downfall half-hidden among it, making this pretty tricky at this time of night. More careful route-finding might have found less brush, but I was feeling rushed to get back in quick order. It was twilight when I reached the summit, neat skies to the west, but otherwise getting pretty dark. The highpoint was found among snags and unburned trees that cover much of the summit. After getting back to the jeep, I only drove a short distance down the hill to find a flat spot to shower and spend the night. More fun on tap for tomorrow...


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