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Great hike up Old Man Mountain from Meadow Lake. This is a beautiful area of Sierra Nevada granite and lakes. Old Man Mountain is on the Tahoe OGUL Peak List  and is rated a Class 2 hike (rough cross-country). There is no single best route across the fields of granite. On the way in we headed too high, but got a great view of Old Man and Phoenix Lake from near peak 7572 (which would be a good destination for a shorter hike). [For a better place to start crossing the granite, head for 39.38722°N 120.52077°W.] We then descended down a steep slope to the two ponds (39.38068°N 120.51756°W) that are a good departure point for heading down to Phoenix Lake or on towards the ridge up Old Man. The ravine near 39.37727°N 120.51750°W has steep sides and brush at the bottom and was probably the roughest part of the hike; I’m not sure we found the best route across it. There’s a major cliff higher up the ridge, but fortunately an old mining trail starting at 39.37355°N 120.51921°W leads around it on the north side from the saddle. Our return route was a worse crossing of the ravine, but a much better way accross the granite fields from the two ponds back to the road.

Trailhead: The Meadow Lake Road is rough in places past the intersection with the White Rock Lake Road. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended. Go past the lakeshore campsites to the Summit City intersection on the west side of the lake, then follow the sign toward the Baltimore Lake trail.

Statistics:
8.88 mi (3.81 mi uphill, 3.65 mi downhill, 1.28 mi flat)
2050 ft total ascent (2050 ft descent) – 18.9% uphill grade, 87.9% downhill grade
7:03:51 total time (5:35:17 moving, 1:28:34 stopped)
0:37:44 pace (1.6 mph average speed)
24.2 difficulty, 39.9 effort