4.6 Miles Hard
The Sierra Buttes Lookout Trail at Tahoe National Forest is a difficult 4.6-mile out-and-back hike up to views of Upper/Lower Sardine Lakes, the surrounding Sierra Buttes and many miles of Tahoe National Forest.
Mile 0 to 0.5: The hike starts off along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and follows it south for 0.5-miles before reaching a trail junction. Stay right at this junction to continue hiking along the PCT.
Mile 0.5 to 0.9: After the first trail junction, you'll follow the PCT for roughly 0.4-miles to the 0.9-mile marker where there's yet another trail junction. Stay right at this trail junction to continue hiking south along the PCT.
Mile 0.9 to 1.12: Around mile 1.12 you'll reach a trail junction with the Sierra Buttes Trail - take a left-hand turn here and follow the Sierra Buttes Trail.
Mile 1.12 to 1.65: After hiking along the Sierra Buttes Trail, you'll reach another trail junction around mile 1.65. Here you can continue straight along the Sierra Buttes Trail. This junction is technically a loop of the Sierra Buttes Trail, which you'll encounter once again before reaching the summit.
Mile 1.65 to 1.93: At mile 1.93, the Sierra Buttes Trail loops south and west again. Here, you'll want to stay left and continue hiking uphill towards the summit. At this point you'll technically be on a service road that leads up to the Sierra Buttes and the fire tower lookout point.
Parking: Parking can be found off of Butcher Ranch Road at the direction coordinates provided.
Pets: Dogs are allowed on this trail as long as they are leashed and waste is carried out.
For more trip details, check out this NorCal Hiker blog post.