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A hike to Castle Peak and Basin Peak, both on the OGUL Peak List,  from the P.C.T trailhead at I-80.  This route follows the Summit Lake trail to the Donner Lake Rim Trail (longer than necessary), which then meets up again with the Pacific Crest Trail. The use trail from Castle Pass to Castle Peak is steep and loose; it’s definitely better to go up this than the knee-wrecking descent. The spectacular trail between the peaks follows the high, narrow ridge between Round Valley and Coon Canyon/Carpenter Valley. The trail down the north side of Basin Peak is indistinct in place, then meets up with the “old” P.C.T. before rejoining the current P.C.T. back to Castle Pass through Round Valley.  A much shorter route starts along the Castle Pass access road north of I-80, but I definitely recommend the CCW direction for the Castle Peak/Basin Peak loop from Castle Pass. I went to the first crag of Castle Peak, which is possibly slightly lower in elevation than than the second and third crags but doesn’t require technical climbing. I’m counting it anyway.

Statistics:

14.18 mi (5.81 mi uphill, 5.99 mi downhill, 2.33 mi flat)
2250 ft total ascent – 15.8 % uphill grade, 43.7 % downhill grade
7:13:06 total time (6:23:38 moving, 0:49:28 stopped)
0:27:02 pace (2.2 mph average speed)
26.9 difficulty, 48.1 effort

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