Monday ยท January 8, 2024
Lassen National Forest Horse Trails | Jan 2024 | Top Horse Trails
Author: Admin

Title: Hoofing It in the Heart of Nature: Horse-friendly Trails in California's Lassen National Forest


As horseback riding enthusiasts know, few things compare to exploring the wilderness atop a trusted steed. Lassen National Forest, nestled in the beautiful mountains of northeastern California, offers an abundance of trails that cater specifically to horse riders. This guide details the best horse-friendly trails in the region for your next equestrian adventure. 


1. **Caribou Wilderness Area Trails**


   Just north of Lassen Volcanic National Park are the Caribou Wilderness Area Trails, with over 20 miles of horse-friendly tracks. This region is stunningly diverse, with crystal-clear mountain lakes, evergreen forests, and open meadows offering something for everyone. You'll need a permit for overnight stays in the wilderness, but not for day rides.


2. **Hat Creek Trail**


   The Hat Creek Trail is a flat, beginner-friendly ride that’s perfect for leisurely day trips. The trail meanders along the scenic Hat Creek, surrounded by lush meadows and shaded by towering Jeffrey Pines. 


3. ** McGowan Lake Trail**


   McGowan Lake Trail is situated in the northeastern part of Lassen National Forest. This 4-mile intermediate trail offers stunning panoramas of the park and access to the serene McGowan Lake - a perfect spot for a picnic.


4. **PCT: Lassen National Park**


   A section of the famous Pacific Crest Trail also runs through Lassen National Park. Offering a rewarding challenge, this stretch of trail takes in both forested valleys and mountainous terrain, affording breathtaking views of the park.


5. **Spencer Meadow Trail**


   Discover the sedate beauty of Spencer Meadow Trail, winding through dense forest and leading to a peaceful meadow. This 8-mile trail rating is moderate, making it great not only for seasoned riders but also beginners interested in a bit more of a challenge. 


6. **Swain Mountain Trail**


   Swain Mountain Trail is located in the eastern part of Lassen National Forest. The trail is 8.5 miles long and comes with a moderate rating. You'll be surrounded by stunning views of the forest, and riding during sunset offers an unparalleled spectacle of colors.


Lassen National Forest is an equestrian's paradise and boasts some of the most beautiful views in Northern California. Each trail's unique charm provides a rewarding experience for riders of all levels. So saddle up and enjoy your next riding adventure in Lassen National Forest!




1. Caribou Wilderness - U.S. National Forest Service (

2. Hat Creek Trail - AllTrails (

3. McGowan Lake Trail - AllTrails (

4. Pacific Crest Trail - National Park Service (

5. Spencer Meadows Trail – (

6. Swain Mountain Trail - AllTrails (


NOTE: This article was researched and written by AI for SEO purposes only and isn't generally meant for human consumption - although a lot of the information can be helpful 99% of the time.  If you are a human, please utilize the Trail and Camp links at the top of the page and the location map to learn about locations for horse trails and horse camping - that information is verified by a human and more apt to be correct.... althought human error is a thing too. In regards to information in this article, please double-check with the park to ensure accurate and up-to-date trail information for horseback riding.