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Owner:RetiredHavinFun Contact
Plant date:May 27, 2003
Found by: shirokuma (3)
Last found: Aug 14, 2010
Hike distance:Unknown
Last edited:May 27, 2003
In northern California, just up the hill from Chico, is a spectacular area which has been called "California's Best-Kept Secret." The sparkling lake ringed by stately green, the variety of activities available, and the area's inhabitants make it an enjoyable place to visit. (Find out more about Lake Almanor and other destinations in Plumas County on

Your search for these boxes will provide scenic views, many photo ops and, hopefully, the sighting of some forest wildlife. The boxes are placed along the Lake Almanor Recreation Trail which extends 10 miles on the west side of the lake. It is a wide, paved trail. Bicycles are permitted. You'll be entering the trail at its approximate mid-point to find boxes 1 and 2.

Leaving Chester at the west end of town, take Highway 89 to the left. When you reach Almanor Drive West (NOT Lake Almanor West Drive), turn left. (If you wish, see box # 5 at this point. It was placed 9/25/03.) Pass the Almanor Campground and you'll soon curve to the right. Keep going and enjoy the beautiful lake views. Eventually, pass a "Camp" on the left that serves delicious treats. Beware when you pass Boot Hill and its ghostly yard on the right! From here it is .5 mile to where you will enter the trail. You want the one on the left. There is room to park on both sides of the road.

Please remember to take all necessary cautions for your safety.

Box #1 - Osprey Letterbox
(approx. 10 min. to box)

Enter the trail on the left and proceed on the paved path. Cross over running water (depending on the season). Eventually, pass a clearing on the left with a nice view of Mt. Lassen in the distance (NOT the first small clearing) (Mt. Lassen is the start of the Cascade Mountain Range. Even in summer the summit usually has a bit of snow.) Walk through the giants. Soon on the left you will see two large reddish rocks and beyond them the lake. Stand between the two rocks, facing the lake. Find the V-shaped formation. Make a 90 degree right turn at the formation. Go to the "piggy-back." The prize is concealed by bark, twigs, etc., next to the short stump in the "V" of the "piggy back." Please be discreet and then conceal well. Thanks for visiting!

Box #2 - Steller's Jay Letterbox
A&W - 8/29/2010

Keep on trekin' the trail, enjoying the forest sounds and smells. On the left you'll pass another magnificent view of the lake with Mt. Lassen centered in the background. You may wish to take advantage of the photo op. Continue. Pass a tree on the right which is home to fungi. (This may be missing, I'm told.) Pass a marker with an upside-down "9". Soon on the left find a group of two just before a bend to the left. The one on the left is a "Cyclop." With the "two" on your immediate left, proceed 20 paces along the trail until you arrive at "Medusa." What you seek is at her center beneath some twigs, etc. Please be discreet and conceal well. Thanks for visiting!

You may continue on the trail until you come to the paved parking lot or return to your car and continue on the road until you come to a circular parking lot on the left. Your search for Box #3 begins here.

Box #3 - Cormorant Letterbox
(A&W 7-26-07)

Begin by noting the info signs regarding the trail and area. This walk will take a bit longer, but it is very nice. Facing the trail, with your back to the signs, walk right on the trail. Soon there will be a small cove on the left. Looking across the lake, the Lake Almanor Peninsula is visible in the distance. Pass a labeled Wildlife Tree on the left. Pass a yellow steel gate blocking a road to the right. Pass two power poles on the right, next to the trail. Pass a "porcupine" on the left which is across from eight sentinels on the right. Pass "Iron Springs" on the left. Pass an area of not too recent logging on the right. Walk over a drain pipe that goes under the trail. On the right, count 48 li'l soldiers. Trek on. Count 15 more lining the right side of the trail. Just keep on trekin' until you come to the Point. Now, you are very near your prize!

There are three area info signs and two benches. Have a seat and enjoy the view! Cormorants are often seen in the lakeside trees. You should at least see some grebes and "birds" on skis in the blue in front of you.

It's time to find the object of your search. With the info signs to your back, walk straight across the trail and look behind the decaying giant. Search beneath bark and cones between the approximate midpoint (larger side) of the decaying one and the living one standing nearest it. Please make sure the area is clear when you retrieve your prize. Please reconceal it well. Thanks for visiting!

Continue on the trail to find....

Box #4 - The Near-the-End-of-the-Trail Quail Letterbox
Placed August l, 2003, and replaced with
revised clues on September 10, 2004.
A&W - 7/26/07

Pass the mile 8 marker. Soon the trail crosses a dirt road to the lake. Walk through a plantation of pines with manzanita and whitehorn plants scattered throughout the area. We enjoyed watching the many dragonflies flitting about. Soon you're back in the natural forest where many small golden mantles play.
Pass a pine on the right shaped like a reverse capital "L". Note a campground on the left. You will come to a "Stop" sign which is near the day use parking area of the Rocky Point Campground. (If you wish, you could start your search from this point.) Cross the road and continue on the trail as it winds through the forest. You will hear traffic sounds nearby. Walk over a solo pipe which passes under the trail. Soon you will walk over a duet. You will pass 12 li'l sentinels on the left , then 9 more and another ll. Pass the "Loop" sign on the left. Note a large gray/green "turtle" on the right. A lake view appears on the left. Look for a topless, "holy" tree on the left. Pass the 9. Pass green bars that can move. Keep following the trail as it curves to the left. Pass another movable green at 159. Need a break? Enjoy the view while resting at the two picnic tables. Cross the chunky obstacle. Go 18 man paces (23 woman paces) --pace equals 2 steps. See a tree on the right backed up by large rocks and another tree. You win when you look behind the first tree in a crevice fronted by small rocks. Thanks for visiting!

Box #5 - The Canada Goose Letterbox
Placed September 25. 2003
Still in place on July 26, 2007

This is the last box placed, but you may wish to do it first as you will pass it on the drive to the other boxes. It is a quick one.

The Canada Goose is the most common and best- known goose. It has a black head and neck and a broad white cheek. It is found grazing in open fields near water and migrates by day and night. Its "honking" sound is easily recognized.

From Chester on Highway 89, turn left on Almanor Drive West (road sign on right says "Almanor - 1")
Pass the South Campground on the right. Turn left at the North Campground sign and follow the road to the Boat Launch Parking area. After making the "U" note the paved trail on the right. Park. Follow the trail to the right. After approximately 5-8 minutes you will see the Mile 2 marker on the right. Turn right and take about 12 steps to the short hollow stump. Your "find" is concealed beneath bark.

If you need a break, there are some info signs and benches about 1 minute farther down the trail.

Thanks again for visiting the lake!

You may wish to stop in Chester and reward yourself with a treat at Lassen Gifts' old-fashioned ice cream counter or at the Pine Shack Frosty (both on Main Street ).