Mount Harkness, Lassen Volcanic National Park

If you’re looking for grand vistas of Lassen Volcanic National Park, Mount Harkness is your hike.

The trail begins at Juniper Lake, and passes through vibrant and aromatic lupine and coyote mint. As you make your way up the shield volcano to the cinder cone volcano that tops Mount Harkness, the forest opens to sweeping vistas. The fire lookout tower located at the summit is one of the few working lookouts in the west. Staffed during the summer, hikers are welcome to visit, explore its magnificent views and learn about fire monitoring in the Park.

Seasons Accessible:  Mount Harkness is accessible once the road to Juniper Lake opens in early summer, typically late June or mid-July. The entrance road, the last seven miles of which is gravel and is not recommended for trailers, closes after the first heavy snowfall, usually late October or early November.

Trailhead: The parking area for the Mount Harkness Trail is located on the north side of the Juniper Lake Ranger Station. Follow the road to the campground to the sign for Mount Harkness Trail parking. Walk the road into the campground and bear left to the trailhead. There is no potable water in the Juniper Lake Area.

Fees: Admission into the Park is $10 and is valid at any park entrance for seven days.

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Latitude: 40.4492495 Longitude: -121.2956071 Elevation: 6795 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Melania Stoeber

Vertical Gain or Loss

1,250 ft gain

Trail Distance

3.8 miles round trip

ADA Accessibility Notes

The trail to Mount Harkness is not wheelchair accessible. 

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are not allowed on any park trails. More information about the Park's policies regarding pets can be found at


In 1976 I worked for the California Division of Forestry as a firefighter. Every other Saturday our fire unit would deliver water and supplies to the tower. We were based in Shingletown. To this day, I still consider the lookout as one of the finest jobs one could obtain.

t nelsen, 7/5/2014

In 1967 my wife and I were the fire lookouts on Mt. Harkness. We were flown in by helicopter as the trail to the lookout was still snowed in. We celebrated our 1st anniversary there. It was a wonderful job. Lots of wildlife and beautiful view of the park and surrounding area.

Rich and Kathy Berry, 6/11/2018

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