Colusa County Highpoint Trip Report

Snow Mountain East

Date: July 25, 2005
Author: Scott Surgent

We used John Garner's road log from the Maxwell exit and had no trouble at all getting to the trailhead. The topo maps from the late 1990s are considerably different than the one used in Gary Suttle's book and a lot of renumbering of forest roads has taken place. Still, navigation is easy.

This hike doesn't get the fame it deserves -- one of the more pretty, enjoyable hikes we've ever done. The trail is excellent, easy to follow, never too steep, and the terrain and flora varies between scrub, dense firs, burned areas, grassy meadows and a sub-alpine summit ridge. Beautiful! We stood atop the various summit piles to claim both Colusa and Lake counties.

We drove out west into Lake County toward the town of Upper Lake as described in Suttle's book. We followed Mendocino FR M-10 a few miles (7?) to a junction with Bear Mountain Road, following a sign mentioning Upper Lake, 23 miles farther. There is a stream crossing later on -- in dry years it's river rock but we had a good bit of water. Our Chevy Impala sedan rental just barely scooted through. Bigger vehicles would have no problem. The roads are okay but much more winding than coming up from the east. If driving a small sedan, it might be prudent to stick to the east-side approaches for entry and exit.