Planning a family camping trip to Plumas Eureka State Park near the Sierra Buttes and of course am going to do some wheeling while we're up there. We will probably drive up early Sunday and drive up to the Sierra Buttes look out tower - very mild trail apparently but the view from the top is supposed to be amazing. On Monday I was thinking of running the Gold Valley Trail out of the state park. Sounds like a very scenic, moderately challenging trail. Tues we will probably do some hiking/exploring in the state park. Kind of odd days (Sun - Tues), but the crowds should be light! Let me know if you're interested in running the Sierra Buttes or Gold Valley Trails or if you have any experience wheeling in that area and have some tips/insights. I've been hiking up there a few times but this will be the first time with the Jeep. Course let me know if you're thinking about camping as well - there are still some campsites available for those dates. This will be my first camping trip of the summer - I can't wait
I've been wanting to explore that area. Seems you have a great trip lined up. About 14 yrs. ago, I rode a road bicycle on Hwy 49 from North San Juan to Sierra City and back. I could see the Buttes from Sierra City. I remember feeling awe-struck. That was the first and only time I've seen the Buttes. Your post has rekindled my interest to get back there.
Had a great time! We've had family in from out of town over the past few days so I haven't had time to upload the pics yet - I'll post more details when I get the pics up. Beautiful country up there and ohv trails all over the place - I will definitely be going back.
Finally got the pics uploaded, so here's a quick trip report.
First the Sierra Buttes Lookout trail. The plan was to run this trail on the way to the camping spot with both my JK and the wife's Hyundai Santa Fe. In retrospect, maybe not such a good idea. Although it was kind of fun to push the Santa Fe to its limits (after the going got a little rough, I was forced to drive the Santa Fe the rest of the way up), it wasn't able to make a steep, rocky hillclimb very close to the summit. Instead of packing the whole clan into the Jeep or (gasp) hiking the rest of the way, we decided to turn around and head to camp as it was getting late. Oh well, will give me an excuse to take the Jeep up to the lookout another day. Here's some shots of the Santa Fe making its way up the mountain (including a hairy creep around a bounder that left only 3-4 inches of the road to spare):
We camped at Plumas-Eureka State Park, which has a nice drive in campground with bathrooms and showers. The Gold Valley trail ran right out of our campground. All of the pictures are from the Gold Valley trail, which was very scenic and still had a little snow at the higher elevation spots even in late June. The trail was moderately difficult with some steep, loose rocky climbs and some small bounders to climb over. There are a bunch of shallow water crossings on the trail. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we got a little lost at the end of the trail and ended up sampling 2 or 3 different trails in the area and ended up in a slightly different location than we had planned. But it all turned out well and made for a long day of quality wheeling! I can't wait to head back to that area and try some of the other trails - there are literally dozens of trails in the area and little high Sierra lakes all over the place! Really a nice area. Made it back to camp and packed up the next morning for the long drive back home - overall a great trip.
Great pics, loved that you weren't afraid to push the Santa Fe a little!
We've never owned an SUV that didn't have to pull double duty as a "prerunner". When I was pregnant back in '91 we cranked up the torsion bars and slapped some 32" A/T's on our Isuzu Trooper and ran the Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari, the ride was much softer than our 76 LandCruiser!!