Find Campsites

For more information on passes click here



Status: Closed through Sat May 31 2014   Season Dates


Little Mt. Hoffman Lookout was constructed in the 1920s and was used by the Forest Service on a regular basis until 1978. It is one of the few remaining historic lookouts in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The lookout is still used by the Forest Service in times of extreme fire danger.

The lookout is accessible by car, but the last 4 miles are on unpaved roads and difficult for RVs and cars with trailers to navigate. Visitors must bring many of their own supplies. The accommodations of this lookout may be rustic, but the views guarantee that visitors will have a memorable stay.

Natural Features:

Little Mt. Hoffman is a cinder cone on the flanks of Medicine Lake Highland, the largest identified volcano within California, which extends roughly 15 miles east to west and 25 miles north to south. Medicine Lake Highland has a caldera that is partially filled by Medicine Lake. Little Mt. Hoffman sits on the rim of this caldera at 7,309 feet, providing a panoramic view of this diverse volcanic landscape.

Visitors can see a spectacular view of Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen and southern Oregon's Mt. McLoughlin. The panorama includes the Tulelake Basin to the north, the Fall River Valley in the east and the Medicine Lake Highlands to the south.


Little Mt. Hoffman Lookout is an ideal location for sightseeing and bird watching, and it's a photographer's dream. Visitors in search of more active pursuits can drive a short distance to hike and explore the many nearby hills, clearings and caves. Medicine Lake has a day use area with a large swim beach and a boat dock.


The lookout is a 14x14 wooden cabin that sits on the ground. Front steps lead up to the entrance and a wooden deck surrounds it. It's equipped with a wood stove, two cots, a shovel, a bucket, storage cabinets, dining table, cleaning gear and a fire extinguisher. A barbecue pit and picnic table are located outside. A vault toilet is housed in a separate building. This facility houses a maximum of four people.

The lookout has no cooking facilities, water, bedding or electricity. Visitors must bring their own water supply and garbage bags to pack out their trash. Recommended supplies include food, toilet paper, linens and blankets, firewood, cooking utensils, extra batteries and a flashlight or lantern. Visitors should also remember to bring the reservation confirmation and the lock combination. The use of portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel is allowed with a valid California campfire permit (click here for more details on Little Mt. Hoffman Lookout).

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Bed(s)
  • Birding
  • Bucket & Shovel
  • Cleaning Equipment
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Hiking
  • Historic Sites
  • Hunting
  • Mattress(es)
  • Mountain Biking
  • Parking Area
  • Pets Allowed
  • Picnic Area
  • Scenic Overlooks
  • Star Gazing
  • Vault Toilets
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Wood Stove
Know Before You Go
  • In order to access the lookout, renter must obtain combination for the lock at the McCloud District Office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or call (530) 964-2184 a week prior to arrival
  • A reservation is required to stay at Little Mt. Hoffman Lookout; no walk-ins accepted
  • A free California campfire permit can be obtained at any Forest Service or California Department of Forestry Office
  • Smoking is prohibited within the lookout; smoke only in vehicles or an area cleared of all flammable material
  • The mountain top and area surrounding the lookout is open to the public; renters have sole use of the lookout building
  • When walking, stay on the roads and watch for sensitive plant signs; do not walk past the signs
  • Click here for more information about Shasta-Trinity National Forest
  • Don't Move Firewood: Protect California's forests from tree-killing pests by buying your firewood locally and burning it on-site. For more information visit firewood.ca.gov.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
41.57861, -121.65972
41°34'43"N, 121°39'35"W

From McCloud, California, travel east on Highway 89 for 16 miles to Road 15 (the Harris Springs Rd). Turn left and travel on a paved road for about 4.5 miles on Road 15 to the 49 road (Powder Hill Road). Travel for approximately 28 miles northeast to the Medicine Lake area. From there, follow the road along the north side of Medicine Lake for approximately 4 miles to Little Mt. Hoffman. These last 4 miles are not paved and motor homes and vehicles pulling trailers are not recommended.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

P.O. BOX 1620

Phone Number:

Information: (530)964-2184