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Continuing our quest to complete sections of the Pacific Crest Trail on dayhikes, we headed to the A-Tree Trailhead north of Sierra Buttes, near Graeagle, California. We did an out-and-back from A-Tree south to Summit Lake, where we had turned off to Little Deer Lake coming the other direction (three years ago already). On this 4th of July, there were lots of people in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area down below, but not so many up on the crest trail– except where we crossed the 4WD road from Gold Lake. Great views of the many lakes down in the valleys, but only the pond-like Summit Lake near the PCT itself.


16.35 mi (7.05 mi uphill, 7.00 mi downhill, 2.25 mi flat)
1800 ft total ascent – 10.3 %  uphill grade, 47.6 %  downhill grade
7:37:22 total time (7:11:51 moving, 0:25:31 stopped)
0:26:23 pace (2.3 mph average speed, 18.4 mph max speed)
17.5 difficulty, 33.9 effort


The shortest access from the east is through Plumas Eureka State Park, off of Hwy 89 just outside of Graeagle (north side of town), through the campground then up a slightly scary narrow 4WD road through a steep canyon. Turn south on the better-improved gravel road at the crest, then about a mile to the trailhead.