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Back Country Discovery Trails
Back Country Discovery Trails

The Modoc National Forest segment of the Back Country Discovery Trails is about 200 miles long with another 42 miles of Alternate (more challenging) Trails. Most of the Modoc Back Country Discovery Trails system is single lane and unpaved. Ultimately, this statewide system will provide a network of interconnected off-highway vehicle roads from Mexico to Oregon.

Trip Particulars: Starts on FS Rd 48N21 at the California/Oregon border southeast of Lakeview, OR, and terminates at the junction of FS Rd 43N48 and FS Rd 15 located at the Klamath/Shasta-Trinity NF boundary.

Length of Drive: 200 miles

Map: web map unavailable at this time. For a map please call 530-233-5811 and ask the operator to send you a hard copy map and information sheet about the Modoc National Forest Segment of the California Back Country Discovery Trail, or send a comment requesting the map - please insure you complete the regular address.

Minimum Driving Time: 15-20 hours. Plan on at least a couple days and camp out along the way--it will be much more enjoyable

Best time of Year: June 1 through October 15--not plowed during winter months.

Elevation of Drive: Approximately 4300' to 7600'.

Road closure Information: The roads are usually closed by snow from November through May.

Discovery Points: Twenty-two (22) Discovery Points will be designated along the route. When completed each will have an interpretative sign and other information to assist the traveler in enjoying the California Back Country.

Route Description: The trail passes through three of the four Ranger Districts on the Forest and can be roughly divided into three separate portions.

The eastern portion of the Trail passes through higher elevations (up to 7600') which encompass mixed conifers, lodgepole pine, numerous meadow systems, and many lakes and creeks. It passes through the community of Davis Creek. Points of interest are: Cave and Lily Lakes, Mt. Vida Vista Point, Fort Bidwell, the Highgrade National Recreation Trail, the Rainbow Obsidian Mines, Sugar Hill Lookout, and Lake City. Three campgrounds are on or near the primary trail.

The central portion of the trail lies primarily on the Devil's Garden Plateau and is fairly flat at 4300' to 5400'. This is predominantly an eastside setting with ponderosa pine stands, sagebrush, juniper, rock- flat grasslands, and meadows. There are numerous reservoirs, lakes, and wetlands. The points of interest are: Goose Lake, Jane's Reservoir, Blue Mountain Lookout, Reservoir C, Big Sage Reservoir, and Fairchild Swamp. Four campground is near the trail.

The western portion passes through the Doublehead Ranger District in the higher elevation's (up to 7000ft) lodgepole pine/red fir forests. The points of interest are: Timber Mountain Lookout, the Lava Beds National Monument, Medicine Lake Glass Flow, Medicine Lake, Arnica Sink, Glass Mountain Geologic Area, Little Mt. Hoffman Lookout, and Little Glass Mountain. Four campgrounds are on or near the trail.

Nearest Consumer Information Center: Modoc National Forest, Doublehead Ranger District, Tulelake, CA; Warner Mtn. Ranger District, Cedarville, CA; Modoc National Forest Headquarters, Alturas, CA.

Traveler Services: Available in Davis Creek and Tionesta--lodging and services before or after your trip in Lakeview, OR, McCloud, Alturas and Cedarville, CA.


About the Back Country Trails

Legal: If your vehicle is street-legal and carries a license, you have access to all open highways, roadways, and OHV routes within the National Forests unless they are posted "closed". If you have a vehicle which only carries an off-highway registration, commonly referred to in California as a "greensticker", you are restricted to Forest Service gravel and dirt roads on the Modoc National Forest. The Discovery Trail passes through both public and private lands. Please respect the rights of private landowners and other posted lands.

Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association
1699 HWY 273, Anderson, CA 96007 | (P) 530-365-7500 | (F) 530-365-1258
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