The Spencer Meadows Trail is in the shadow of Lassen Volcanic National Park. The loop portion of the trail overlooks the Mill Creek Drainage, 1,500 feet below. This section is also an area with large meadows and spectacular views. The meadow itself borders the park.

Recognized as a National Recreational Trail- The Spencer Meadow Loop has all the necessary elements for a great hike: cool forests, flower-dotted meadows, a tumbling stream with a waterfall, and far-ranging views. The only element lacking from this trip is people, as most hikers in the area opt for hikes in the more popular, neighboring Lassen Volcanic National Park.

The distance of this trail is a little debated as we found everything from five miles to 13 miles reported on different sites.

Location In Lassen National Forest on SR 36/89, connects north into Lassen Volcanic National Park.
State(s) California
Counties Tehama
Type Backcountry
Length 5.00 Miles / 8.05 Km Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses Camping
Pedestrian – Walking/Hiking/Running
Agency USDA Forest Service
Entry Fee? No Parking Fee? No


13.2 total miles
Elevation Gain: 2,230 feet
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Moderately Strenuous
Season: Best: June to mid-October
Trailhead Elevation: 4,930 feet
Top Elevation: 6,675 feet

Review of Trail from the Lassen Hiking Association:

This is a fairly difficult hike.  It features rewarding views over Childs Meadow and Mill Creek’s valley.

The goal, Spencer Meadows, is a large high mountain meadow with a decent campsite.

If you follow the map closely, you may see where to cut down the ridge a few hundred feet to view the interesting Canyon Creek Falls.

The relatively low elevation means that the Spencer Meadow Loop sheds the winter snow earlier than trails in the park, making this a fine early-season opportunity hike.