Hiking to the top of Mt. Konocti, the region’s landmark volcano, via the Wright Peak Summit Trail means a heart-thumping 3-mile climb of nearly 1,650 feet. But a side trip to the minuscule Downen’s Cabin puts the hardship into perspective—Mary Downen, a widow in her late 50s, homesteaded here alone in the early 1900s. At the trail’s end, your sweat equity earns you a mountaintop perch with a sweeping view to forever: Clear Lake, Mount St. Helena, and—on a clear day—Mt. Lassen. If you join a free docent-led tour, you can climb the fire tower at the top, where the views become jaw-dropping.