Place Name: Shasta County
Place Description: State: California
Elevation: 7,863 Feet
Prominence: 2,863 Feet
Elevation Gain: 241 Feet
Lists: California P2K
A Long Drive To The Fire Lookout
Burney Mountain is an imposing summit south of Burney, CA. Most people come to the area for the falls, but a nice drive to near the summit of this peak is also warranted. Park at the upper gate and take an easy stroll up to the fire lookout.
- Good access road
- Great views
- Lots of peace and quiet
- Long dirt road approach
- Active logging area
- Road has a couple exposed spots
When a town is known for having a world class waterfall, the prominent peak to the south goes highly overlooked. That is the case for Burney Mountain. While Burney Falls is the major attraction, Burney Mountain towers of the town it’s named after and receives far less visitation.
Burney Mountain may be close to Burney, CA, however, it’s a bit of an adventure to get there. Fortunately there is a fire lookout on top and nice road all the way.
From the town, head west on Highway 299 and make a left hand turn onto Tamarack Road.
Tamarack Rd. is a wide and graded logging road that you can travel 30-40 mph on. About 8.5 miles into the road, there will be a sign pointing left to Burney Mountain Lookout. This road is a smaller dirt forest road and logging trucks also use it.
Follow this a couple mile to the next junction and turn left onto Forest Road 34N14. This is another good road and there are signs for the lookout at every junction. Keep an eye out for another right hand turn and lookout sign, this will be the summit road.
Since the road takes you to the summit, it also acts as the trail. You can drive as far you feel comfortable and start walking from one if the many turnouts.
This mountain is a giant pile of lava boulders and would be miserable to climb without the road. Even though the road is a bot rocky, most two wheel drive cars could maneuver it. Not much clearance needed at all. There are a couple areas where the road is a bit shelfy, however, these are short lived.
Follow this all the way to the gate just below the summit. Sometimes it is open, sometimes it isn’t. There is a great area to park and an easy 1/2 mile walk to the summit.
There is an active lookout tower on the summit. It was very cold and windy when we visited so we didn’t stay long.
Looking to the south, Lassen Peak and Crater Peak dominate the views. To the north, Mount Shasta and Mount Eddy are in view on clear days.
The views are quite nice in all directions.
The Final Word
Burney Mountain is a great choice to add on after visiting Burney Falls. The falls are absolutely gorgeous and very kid friendly.
This was my first trip to the Burney area and I unearthed a lot of new peaks to climb in the future. Crater Peak looks fantastic and has moved up my priority list.