Sierra Buttes Lookout via Tamarack Lakes

General Information

•Mileage: 3.5 miles one-way
•Elevation: 6220 to 6587 feet
•Difficulty: Difficult
•Use Level: Heavy
•Season: June through October


Approximately five miles east of Sierra City on Highway 49, turn onto Gold Lake Highway at Bassetts Station. Continue for approximately 1.4 miles to the bridge crossing Salmon Creek and turn left. Continue for about .3 mile and turn right onto Packer Lake Road. Proceed for 2.5 miles and turn left onto Forest Road 93 (Packer Saddle Road) Continue .1 mile. On the left side is a large sign reading "Lower and Upper Tamarack Lakes and Sierra Buttes". The hike begins here. Ample parking is available.

Trail Description

From the trailhead, follow the rough gravel road. In .25 mile the gravel road forks. Follow the right fork. After approximately .5 mile you will reach a sign reading "Sardine Lakes and Sand Pond via Trail". This is the Tamarack Connection Trail. Keep to the right and you will see another sign marked "Sierra Buttes LO". Tamarack Lake will be on your left. Continue another half-mile to a sign directing you to the left. The trail follows this ridge to the Lookout. Both the trail and Lookout offer spectacular views. Mount Lassen, Mount Shasta and Mount Rose can often be seen. During the summer, volunteers occupy the Sierra Buttes Lookout for wildlife detection.

For a moderate year-round hike, check out Canyon Creek Trail.
For an easy family hike, there's the Sand Pond Interpretive Trail.
For a great waterfall hike, take the hike to Loves Falls.
For a panoramic view, choose the Lakes Basin Ridge Trail.
For enchanting forests and rushing creeks, try the Second and Third Divide Trails.