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Schonchin Butte Trail

Intermediate
 3.5 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Exposed trail to the top of a cinder cone with commanding views of the surrounding wilderness.


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Map Key

1.5

Miles

2.4

KM

74%

Runnable

5,286' 1,611 m

High

4,826' 1,471 m

Low

460' 140 m

Up

457' 139 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

24%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Views · Wildflowers

Stay on the trail and do not shortcut the switchbacks. Cinder cones scar very easily.

Overview

A run to the historic Schonchin Butte Fire Lookout is well worth the effort! Imagine the effort required by the Civilian Conservation Corps crew that not only carried up by hand all the materials needed to build the lookout, but first had to build the trail itself!

Description

You can't miss Schonchin Butte sticking out in the middle of the park! To access the trailhead, turn onto a dirt road that is located just north of the road leading to Merrill Cave on the east side of the main park road. The road is marked by a large sign. Follow the road to where it ends and park. The trailhead is located across from the parking area at the base of Schonchin Butte.

The trail immediately begins to gain elevation and is exposed for its entire duration. After running west for maybe .4 miles, the trail turns east for a short distance before again turning west right before the top. At the top of the cinder cone is the Schonchin Butte Fire Lookout that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. During summer months, a firefighter is on duty and can provide information as well as administer a a Junior Fire Lookout program for kids. Make your way around the top of the cinder cone and soak in some of the views before heading back down.

Contacts

Shared By:

QuinTCM TCM

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 4 votes

#4103

Overall
  3.5 from 4 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#599

in California

#4,103

Overall
7 Views Last Month
426 Since Jul 20, 2015
Intermediate

25%
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75%
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Photos

The fire lookout sits at the summit atop lava splatters.
May 21, 2016 near Tulelake, CA
Hiking Down Schonchin Butte.
Feb 2, 2016 near Tulelake, CA
The trail is steep, but short enough that younger hikers have no problem. Tule Lake is visible in the distance.
May 21, 2016 near Tulelake, CA

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