The view southward from Heart Attack Hill of Susanville with Thompson Peak looming large over the valley Wednesday, June 26.

The hill not for the faint of heart

To round out my time and experience at Susanville Ranch Park this summer, I decided to take on the ominously dubbed Heart Attack Hill.

My cousin and best friend, Jacob, accompanied me again for an hour and a half of elevation climb with a plethora of switchbacks, but one amazing view the more we climbed.

For once we did not start at the Ranch Park parking lot, but instead headed up Paiute Lane, where the pavement ends and the forest begins. We pulled up to an open gate with a small sign with a map and the words Heart Attack Hill emblazoned on it.

The diversity of our area can be seen simply by hiking Heart Attack Hill as the path starts in fairly dense wooded area, then breaks out onto the hillside where the high desert features are prevalent.

The path started easy enough at 4,400 feet when we hit the first set of switchbacks, but the further we went the steeper they got.

From time to time there are nice flatter points that just end up leading to a set of switchbacks that progressed us further up the hill.

Just before the path took us back into the woods, a look back south we saw all of Susanville and Thompson Peak looming over everything; by far the best view I’ve gotten all summer from the trails.

But at this point it progressed pretty quickly. We continued to climb in elevation, but it was slowing and once we saw the road off to our left we knew the landing was close.

Once we reached the landing we sat and rested before heading back down where we decided to follow the road down to the car.

If you would like to share any experiences and/or photos of your time on the trails in Lassen County, send them to me, Brian Walters, at