Hiking Susanville Ranch Park over the past few weeks has been a great escape from the noise of the city. Going out with a few friends and snapping a few photos and then sharing my experience with everyone has been a real joy.
From the different elevations and biospheres in woodland meadow valleys, to sagebrush filled high desert and rushing creeks, Ranch Park has it all.
I started my treks this season hiking up the Helipad Trail. Just a couple switchbacks up from the Old Paul Bunyan logging road and the view from the helipad opens up to a beautiful vista.
From the helipad a 180-degree view with the Canyon Trail to the west, looking north one sees the meadow that splits Coyote Bluff from the parking lot and little league fields.
Coyote bluff was my next stop. Heading up the backside and reaching the top provided me with a view of town with a horizon that seemed to stretch on forever.
Following that, I headed on a solo trip down the Canyon Trail then hooked up and around on the Old Paul Bunyan Logging Road.
Getting both sides of the canyon provided a close up sight of the Piute Creek from the resting area at the Beaver Pond, and then up on the old logging road I could see the creek winding its way through the reeds and running down the middle of the valley.
The Canyon Trail hike also provided one of my first run-ins of the summer with a gopher snake.
Then my friend Daniel and I tackled the Bullyvard, Scrap Iron and Horse Trail loop that led from the Stonewall Trail bridge area northeast up the hill toward the tank that heads the spring that runs south down the hill.
The top of the Bullyvard Trail followed some piping that flanked the trail until it connected with the Scrap Iron Trail that led down into an ominous dead tree lined trail.
The cloudy and rainy weather had wild flowers blooming all over the hill side turning the normal grey and drab sage brush laden hill a colorful spring sight.
The best part was the sight looking southwest from the Horse Trail where we got a full view of Ranch Park.
After all the rain and week long hiatus from the trails, I took my cousin Jacob and I on a shorter hike up the Beaver Trail which sits above the Canyon Trail.
We ran into another gopher snake along the way — one that my cousin almost made boot food by almost stepping on it.
Only a couple of inclines challenged us the whole way with the new June sun beating down on us of course.
To finish off the west side of Ranch Park, my cousin and I took ourselves to the top of Coyote Bluff where we took the longest hike all season.
The early morning hike had us lead from the top of the bluff down the Rattlesnake Trail, where we took the inline up and around the Hot Shot and The Wall trails totaling roughly seven miles in entirety.
The Deadman’s Curve just off the Hot Shot Trail offered possibly the best view I have had all season. Looking east back toward Susanville, the lush green valley below us was truly amazing.
My times on the trail aren’t over, though. This just covered my time in the western part of Ranch Park. I still have the fabled Heart Attack Hill to contend with, and later this summer I will be doing the entirety of the Bizz Johnson in a two day backpacking trip.
If you have any photos and/or experiences on the trails of Lassen County send them to me Brian Walters at [email protected].