Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
450.00 ft (137.16 m)
Trail type
1.70 mi (2.74 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The short hike up Schonchin Butte provides access to what is unquestionably the best panoramic lookout point in the Lava Beds National Monument

Gaining about 450 feet in elevation over the 0.85-mile trail, Schonchin Butte is topped by a fire lookout that remains active during hot and dry conditions, and as such, entry is closed to the public. However, the lookout, standing at 5,267 feet, does have a wraparound walkway with interpretive signs naming the surrounding visible peaks and landmarks—most notably the snow-covered summit of Mount Shasta and the nearby Tulelake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge.

While the trail should be easily hiked by anyone with moderate abilities, there are only a couple areas of shade—trees throughout the monument's volcanic landscape are rare. Sun protection and water are recommended.

From the top, return back down the trail. The total length of the out-and-back hike is about 1.7 miles. A vault toilet is available in the parking area.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Panoramic views.


Interior of fire lookout is closed to public.

Trailhead Elevation

4,821.00 ft (1,469.44 m)


Historically significant
Big vistas


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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