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Modoc Plateau

Distance: 689 miles one-way. Sagebrush-covered flats and scattered juniper give rise to rocky slopes on the Modoc Plateau in the northeast corner of the state that's home to herds of wild horses and antelope. Hardy hikers can try an eight- to 10-mile cross-country hike up Hot Springs Peak in the trail-less Skedaddle Mountains east of Susanville, Calif. But there's an easier option to tap the beauty of this high-desert range: Drive the 31-mile unpaved Buckhorn Backcountry Byway that starts east of Ravendale and continues into Nevada. Info: Modoc National Forest, (530) 233-5811 -- Mary Forgione Tim Shisler / For The Times