According to Chico residents, Humbug Summit was named after an unscrupulous businessman who told miners that for a small price he would let them travel up the path that would lead them to creeks lined in gold. However, a plaque in the Humbug Valley claims that the area was discovered and inhabited by Maidu Indians when Andrew Miller first saw the valley and returned to start a family. Whatever story is true, the fact is that this area is beautiful, with a history that is preserved by some farm homes, old hotels, an Outpost, and an old stage house.
The partially paved 12-mile trail from Humbug Summit to Humboldt Peak starts about 20 miles off Highway 89 on Humbug Road. Park at the Cold Spring, just past Humbug Summit, and you and Fido can head out from there. Be sure to bring extra water for both of you and keep your little buddy on a leash. This is part of the Pacific Coast Trail and it has some amazing views of the Lassen Peak, Lake Almanor, the Trinity Alps, and other mountains, valleys, and hills.
On the first few miles of trail, you will be surrounded by gorgeous large pines and oaks, which provide plenty of shade for you and Fido. You will pass preserved farmhouses within the first few miles, and some other proof of the gold rush in that area, such as gold panning machinery and some of the creeks where the panning occurred. You and your fur baby will enjoy exploring the area where you will likely see some wild critters like turtles, frogs, waterfowl, and other wildlife.
All throughout your hike, you will see a variety of wildflowers and other flora such as yucca, wavy-leaved paintbrush, lilies, balsamroot, sunflowers, wallflowers, and lupines. This hike is pawrific, and will have you wanting to come back during each season to really appreciate the beauty of the area.