Lassen County High Point Trip Report

Hat Mountain

Date: September 30, 2001
Author: Anthony Chan

Those interested in climbing Hat Mountain and nearby Eagle Peak in summer are well advised to check the wildfire condition. For 2001, the entire South Warner Wilderness was closed from August 9 to September 14 due to lightning strike-induced wildfire (known as Blue fire) - see website.

There are two main approaches to Hat Mountain. Those without 4WD should follow Gary Suttle's route description, approaching Hat Mountain from north. The actual hike may be longer than described by Suttle, because the road 18A (also called 38N18 on USGS topo map) may become impassable 1/2 mile before the end. For those with 4WD, an eastern approach utilizing county road 42A (also known as 39N10) followed by 38N15 allows shorter approach to the base of Hat Mountain. Be advised that the road condition gets progressively worse as you approach Hat Mountain on this route. Past Sworinger Reservoir, you are basically driving up a stream bed. Even if your vehicle is capable, you probably won't save much time, since careful driving will be needed to negotiate rocks and boulders.

To reach the highpoint, several routes are possible. In my opinion, the direct approach through the forest, striking southeast from Lost Lake is easiest, due to steep but steady grade. Those preferring a scenic climb may opt for boulder fields located to the either side of the forest.

The register is located at GPS-based coordinates (41 deg 8.827 min N, 120 deg 7.542 min W). On the USGS map, this is between letter "H" and "M" in the label "Hat Mountain" (written in two lines). A new register have been placed by Bob Packard's party on August 3, 2000. Only 6 parties have recorded in the register since then.