This historic trail accesses the Hanan Roadless Area and the headwaters of the Sycan River, a designated National Wild and Scenic River. This trail was a part of the earliest transportation route into the upper Sycan River country, pioneered by John Hanan, an early settler of the Summer Lake valley. Archaeological evidence suggests that portions of this trail follow a prehistoric seasonal migration route used by the American Indians to travel from the Chewaucan Basin to Sycan Marsh. Historically the trail was marked with vertically aligned
rectangular blazes on the trees and with rock cairns. Some of these original markers can still be seen and the Forest Service has managed this trail to retain and replace this marking system in kind.
Another interesting feature of this trail is the fact that it crosses the divide between the Great Basin and the Pacific drainages on the top of Bear Creek Rim. An interpretive sign located at this point informs the trail user about this fact. This spot is a great place to take a break and sit on the edge of the rim to soak in the great views of the forest, Summer Lake basin, and the mountainous high desert off to the east.
The trail passes through a number of diverse environments including mixed conifer old growth stands, quaking aspen groves, a large scab-rock flat, dense stands of lodgepole pine, and large open upland meadows.
The grades found on this trail are gentle except for one grade climbing from the head of the Sycan River to the top of Bear Creek Rim which is about 10% for approximately ½ mile.
Small stream fishing for native redband trout is available in the Sycan River adjacent to the first 4 miles of the northwestern portion of this trail. Wildlife viewing is very good in this area and seasonal wildflowers are found in the two large upland meadows found next to this trail and in the riparian area of the Sycan River.
If you are looking for a place that offers peace and solitude, you can find it it on the Hanan Trail.