Hike Kanaka Peak

Lake Tahoe Kanaka Peak Trailhead

Added by John Chau

Secluded and less visited than other parts of the park, Kanaka Peak can be a fun challenge as explorers can catch splendid views of Whiskeytown Lake, Shasta Bally, Mount Shasta, Clear Creek Canyon, and the Yolly Bolly Mountains. Perfect to go on a date to watch the sunset, Kanaka Peak is a rewarding 7-mile (roundtrip) hike with 1,100 feet of elevation gain.

Head to the Peltier Bridge Campground after entering Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and then go 1.1 miles along the road through the campground until you reach the trailhead for Kanaka Peak. The road from the campground is open from late spring to late fall, otherwise hikers will need to park at the campground and hike the extra 1.1 miles to the trailhead.

From the trailhead, you'll cross over Paige Boulder Creek and follow the trail until you reach a trail junction with Peltier Trail on the right. Stay straight and don't go onto Peltier Trail. Keep on the trail and 1.6 miles from the trailhead you will reach another trail junction, this time with Kanaka Cutoff Trail on the left. Ignore this one too and keep going straight.

1.9 miles later, you'll reach the summit after two steep sections of elevation gain. Be sure to enjoy the hike and take a moment to soak in the views as you hike up. At the top, there is a nice wooden bench to rest on as you look north. If you're quiet, you might even see black bear, blacktail mule deer, and various types of birds. According to the National Park Service, wildflowers are in abundance starting around April (and even in mid-March).

Watch out for poison oak if you wander off-trail to "chase a bear," especially in the winter months when they don't have their leaves. Look for reddish, skinny stick-like bushes that point upward (instead of outward), and avoid them.

Note: Visitors to Whiskeytown National Recreation Area will need either a Whiskeytown Pass or an Interagency Pass (e.g. America the Beautiful annual pass) to park anywhere in the park. They can be purchased for $10 (weekly pass) or $40 (annual pass) at the visitor information center upon turning into the park.

Pack List

  • Snack
  • Cellphone (service can usually be found at the summit)
  • Water bottle (creeks run dry starting in the spring, so be sure to carry enough water for a 7+ mile hike)
  • Camera
  • Map
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Ten Essentials
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Activities:

Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

3.5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1100 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Forest
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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How to Get There

4 months ago

Great Close Hike

Close to the city, which is convenient for a quick hike! But it's a good one! Uphill for the majority of it, with some amazing views! During the winter and spring, there's beautiful cascades near the top (watch out for poison oak if you venture to the cascades!). The peak is so nice with the bench and beautiful views.

4 months ago

Added by John Chau

W-EMT at Whiskeytown, soccer coach, and adventurer - making the most of every opportunity that comes my way. Check out my blog at: theruggedtrail.com and keep on adventuring! If you need a guide or an adventuring partner, shoot me an email at: johnachau@gmail.com!

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