Looking west from the helipad, one can see the BLM fields that separate two trails on opposite sides of this small valley. Photo by Brian Walters

Helipad hike offers stunning views

As April is drawing to a close and spring has hit its full stride, I set my sights on the Helipad Trail at Susanville’s Ranch Park.

Taking a midday hike with one of my oldest friends and his dog, we ascended the steep switchback trail for one of the best views in the county.

The recent weather shows its effects the moment you begin your hike into the park, such as the usually dried creek bed in front of the park’s parking lot, and running below the old dairy building is now full and rushing into the brush that flanks the trails.

We walked straight from the parking lot and turned toward the bridge crossing Paiute Creek, which was more like a small rushing river with the amount of water running through it.

Once we were off the bridge, we followed the Old Paul Bunyan Road leading us to the beginning of the aptly named Helipad Trail. Where the winding switchback trail climbs well over 800 feet in elevation to an old forestry helipad.

Once we reached the top, we found ourselves standing over the entire valley with the BLM land off to the west, to Coyote Bluff and Bagwell Creek in front of us to the north and town off to the east.

The Helipad Trail has been one of my favorites to hike since I was a kid. The view from atop the helipad still gives me a sense of amazement and reminds me why I love living here.

Next week, I will be heading up to Coyote Bluff situated on the west side of Susanville Ranch Park. If you have any photos you would like to share of your trips on the trails of Lassen County, send them to me, Brian Walters, at [email protected].

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