Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
4,380.00 ft (1,335.02 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
15.00 mi (24.14 km)
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The Deafy Glade route is the hard way up to Snow Mountain, the high point of Colusa County, Lake County, the Snow Mountain Wilderness, and the newly established Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. Although longer and steeper than the route commonly used at the Summit Springs Trailhead, the route from the Deafy Glade Trailhead does allow low-clearance vehicles easier access to the area. Fouts Springs Road deteriorates into an unreliably maintained dirt road after the trailhead. Snow Mountain is the first mountain to exceed 7,000 feet in elevation north of the San Francsico Bay Area, and it is the southern anchor of the Northern Coast Range. It's unique location at the crossroads of several ecosysems has created an ecological hotspot for both wildlife and plants according to the Mendocino National Forest, the area's land manager.

The beginning of the trail travels through a pleasent deciduous forest dominated by black oak trees. You will need to cross the South Fork of Stony Creek just under the 1-mile mark. The crossing can be made without wet feet during the late spring and summer, but the creek may run higher in the early spring and after storms. The pleasure walk ends abuptly after the creek crossing, and the trail climbs nearly 2,500 feet in the next 3 miles. A beautiful campsite exists next to Deafy Glade just after the creek crossing for those who want to take it slow. The Deafy Glade Trail will connect with the Summit Springs trail near the 4-mile marker. The next 1.3 miles north along the Summit Springs Trail will be on a south-facing slope with little shade.

Near the 5.5-mile mark you will enter a conifer-dominated forest with several trail intersections. High Rock is a geological point of interest just a short walk to the east of this area. The trails east include the sparsely used Box Spring Trail Loop. The Milk Ranch Trail heads to the west and can be used to make a nice loop that connects to Snow Mountain from the north and west. There is also a seasonal pond and ample room for camping near this intersection. Continue north on the Summit Trail for the shortest access to Snow Mountain.

The East Peak of Snow Mountain will be easily visible during the last mile and a half as the trail travels through patchy stands of conifers and open burned areas. The West Peak, although not the high point, is less than half of a mile from the final saddle and is worth a trip to open up better views to the west. North of the saddle, the trail will connect to the Milk Ranch Loop. Head east from the saddle to access the high point on the East Peak of Snow Mountain. On a clear day, Mount Diablo (100 miles away) can be seen to the south while Mount Shasta (140 miles away) and Lassen Peak (100 miles away) can be seen to the northeast. On hazier days, local mountain ridges and the Sacramento Valley below should still provide somewhat of a view.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Rugged terrain. Big views. Varied ecosystems.

Cons

Steep grades. Sun-exposed sections. Burn areas.

Trailhead Elevation

3,288.00 ft (1,002.18 m)

Highest point

7,059.00 ft (2,151.58 m)

Net Elevation Gain

3,771.00 ft (1,149.40 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Wildlife
Big vistas
Geologically significant
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Comments

08/20/2018
This area is currently in the active burn area of the Mendocino Complex and is under Mandatory Evacuation Orders.
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