Home Features Gallery: Modoc Line Rail Trail Project in Running for OHV Grant Funds

Gallery: Modoc Line Rail Trail Project in Running for OHV Grant Funds

This unique railroad structure is all that remains of the operation at Crest near Horse Lake Road on the Modoc Line Rail Trail
This unique structure is all that remains of the railroad operation at Crest near Horse Lake Road on the Modoc Line Rail Trail

Lassen Land and Trails Trust has applied for funds through California State Park’s Division of Off-Highway Vehicles to implement ground operations projects on the three priority segments of the Modoc Line Rail Trail.

The Trust acquired the abandoned rail corridor for development and management as a shared-use, motorized public trail in 2008, and the Management Plan was adopted after public comments in January of 2012.

The Modoc Line Rail Trail is an 85-mile rail trail, which runs from Wendel Road in eastern Lassen County to Likely in southern Modoc County, traversing over 2,000 acres of northeastern California’s most dramatic rangeland, views of the Skedaddle and Warner mountain ranges and opportunities to see wildlife, including herds of pronghorn antelope.

The trail corridor connects BLM lands from Biscar Reservoir to the Tule Mountain Wildlife Study Area.

Three segments of the trail are currently open to the public for use. The Sage Hen segment, the Snowstorm Canyon segment and Viewland. The trail is open to high-clearance road vehicles, and shared use with bikes and equestrians. The surface is gravel with sections of remnant railroad ballast. The trail cuts through open cattle range and caution is encouraged.

There is a maximum speed limit of 30 mph for motorized vehicles. Equestrians, hikers, bikes and motorized vehicles have the right of way in that order. No firearms may be fired within the corridor.

All along the abandoned railbed you’ll find interesting desert rock formations.


All along the Snowstorm Canyon section of the rail trail project you will find lush meadows and wetlands tucked into the desert arroyos.


At the bottom of a steep cliff you’ll see remnants of a 1968 train wreck, the largest freight wreck in the United States at that time, with more than 85 cars tumbling down the side.


Snowstorm Ranch and Little Horse Lake alongside the Rail Trail.


Natural springs dot the landscape along the trail creating patches of lush green in the normally arid region.


Wildlife share the environment with livestock in the flats along the trail.


The true desert lies ahead as the railbed turns south around Snowstorm Mountain heading towards Pete’s Valley.


Majestic scenery on all sides, with towering rock walls and narrow defiles, makes up a 5-mile segment along Snowstorm Creek.


Wildlife, like this pronghorn antelope silhouetted against Shaffer Peak, abounds in the westernmost part of the Rail Trail.


Looking out onto Mud Flat across Biscar Reservoir and wildlife area.


Just a short walk off the main Rail Trail is this oasis on Biscar Reservoir.


Near the northern base of Shaffer Peak the old NCO Railway travels past enormous canyons and ravines.


Before reaching it’s southernmost point along Wendel Road the rail bed passes through Viewland and its stunning views of the Honey Lake Valley.

The Trust encourages off-road vehicle users to adhere to the State of California’s OHV safety guidance. For safety guidance, please click here.

The Trust’s application can be reviewed beginning on Tuesday, March 4th, at the Division’s website, http:/ohv.parks.ca.gov.

For more information, please contact Lassen Land and Trails Trust at info@lassenlandandtrailstrust.org or call (530) 257-3252.

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