Three Great Hikes In Lake County
February 5, 2022
Lake County is known for beautiful scenery, and there’s no better way to experience it than hitting the trail! With so many trails to choose from we went ahead and gathered our top three favorite hikes for all to enjoy. From strenuous trails that pack a workout, to a leisurely stroll along the shores of Clear Lake we’ve got you covered.
5413-5553 Konocti Rd, Kelseyville, CA 95451
Covering 1,520 acres, Mount Konocti is the county’s largest park and is one of the county’s most recognizable landmarks for good reason! This dormant volcano is sacred to Native Americans, the subject of legends, and offers breathtaking panoramic views from three summits.
The Wright Peak Summit Trail is 6 miles round-trip with an over 1,600 foot gain in elevation and is no easy feat. However, the reward is well worth it! From the top of the peak you can see almost all 70 square miles of Clear Lake and on some days even see well into the Sacramento Valley 50 miles away.
The trail leads through open brush, past mature walnut and apple orchards, and under towering oaks believed to be more than 500 years old. Benches are located throughout the hike, and provide an opportunity to catch your breath while you sit and watch the astonishing sight of clouds forming within the Mount Konocti microclimate below.
History buffs will get goosebumps as they pass the Mary Downen cabin, built in 1903, which was the first homesteader cabin built on the mountain by westerners. Legend has it that every day at 2 p.m. Mary would hike the property to the clearing below her cabin and flash a mirror, signaling her health to her family in Lakeport. The cabin remains untouched from the original condition in which it has sat for more than 110 years and is a sight to behold.
This trail is popular with locals and tourists alike, and is open year-round for all to enjoy.
3600 E Highland Springs Rd, Lakeport, CA 95453
Looking for a hike that’s a little less strenuous but still offers beautiful views, abundant wildlife, and is easily accessible? Then you’ll definitely want to check out Highland Springs!
Located between Kelseyville and Lakeport, Highland Springs Reservoir Trail is a 5 mile loop that features a variety of different watersheds, ecosystems and habitats, amazing wildflowers and native vegetation, abundant wildlife and a diverse geology.
The steeper hillsides, mostly open chaparral, can be quite rugged but offer unfiltered, spectacular vistas of Mt. Konocti and other distant mountains. A variety of wildflowers and native vegetation, some of which are rare plants that thrive only on serpentine soils, carpet the hillsides and meadows in the spring.
This park features a large grassy area, picnic facilities, horseshoe pits, so bring a picnic lunch, relax and enjoy yourselves after your hike.
5300 Soda Bay Rd, Kelseyville, CA 95451
Along the shore of California’s largest freshwater lake is the popular 590 acre Clear Lake State Park. This park is a great option for those who might enjoy a more moderate hike, or have small children with them. Located just a couple miles outside of Kelseyville, the State Park is easy to get to and offers three designated hiking trails – the Indian Nature Trail, the Dorn Trail, and the Kelsey Creek Trail.
Docent-led walks are a great option for those who are interested in the unique natural and cultural history of the area. On these hikes, guests will learn about the changing flora and fauna in the park, as well as how local Native Americans used native plants and other resources to meet their daily needs.
Another popular trail with families is the “Story Walk,” where guests can read a book that’s chosen by park staff as they wander down the Story Walk trail, followed by a related craft activity at the Visitor’s Center. This is always a popular activity for the whole family and is a great way to get your littles excited about nature!
Not only does this park offer lakeshore views, but hikers will also wander trails through giant oaks, manzanitas, and often get a peek of otters, turtles, muskrats, and a large variety of birds, making it a perfect option for nature lovers of all ages!