The Final Ascent
Many's the time I've climbed these three sets of ladders to reach the fire lookout at the top of the Sierra Buttes, where the panorama from 8,591 feet, on a clear day, takes in the Shasta, Lassen, and Mt. Diablo peaks. The hike, which can be made from Packer Saddle on the Pacific Crest Trail (see "High in the Sierra" for detailed directions to the trailhead), is one of northern California's best, especially in the spring, when wildflowers are in bloom, or early fall, when the air is swept clean by cool autumn breezes (and the occasional flock of migrating geese stirs up a honking racket at eye level). Acrophobes might want to wait here for your hiking companions to clamber up and down the stairs. (When I first climbed to the lookout in the late 1950s, there was a ranger posted there, and the shaky steps were wooden and the slack handrails were rope.) Blademan01 posted this more recent video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPUvlTr_5sM
By Derk Richardson, AFAR Staff
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.