Category ArchivePacific Crest Trail
A hike to Castle Peak and Basin Peak, both on the OGUL Peak List, Â from the P.C.T trailhead at I-80. Â 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. Â A muchÂ 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.
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
GeoLocator for latitude 39.3396988 longitude -120.3428879
Since moving to Reno, Mount Lola has been one of my favorite hikes. Today’s hike was from the trailhead on the north on Henness Pass Road to the summit, then down to White Rock Lake and back via the Pacific Crest Trail and the Mt. Lola connector trail. While most hikers reach Mt. Lola from the north, the trail from the P.C.T. is arguably nicer, passing by the pristine White Rock Lake, up to the granite-rocky saddle point between White Rock and Independence Lake, with great views of the steep southern flank of Mt. Lola.
The Mt. Lola Trail from the PCT is not heavily used, but is relatively easy to follow except where it connects with a use trail that goes down to White Rock Lake via a heavily eroded, steep ATV road connecting to the 4WD road on the north side of the lake. At 39.42378Â° N 120.37018Â° W (WGS 84), on the way down from the summit, don’t follow the distinct trail toward White Rock, but instead turn south across a small gully through a bushy area to find the trail on the granite ridge.
Mt. Lola Trail from P.C.T. Junction:
Mt. Lola trail round trip from northern trailhead with loop around White Rock Lake:
18.29 mi (7.64 mi uphill, 8.16 mi downhill, 2.36 mi flat)
4015 ft total ascent Â - 15.1 % uphill grade, 62.9 % downhill grade
10:13:12 total time (9:00:09 moving, 1:13:03 stopped)
0:29:31 pace (2.0 mph average speed, 6.5 mph max speed)
35.2 difficulty, 62.3 effort
GeoLocator for latitude 39.4883385 longitude -120.3405075
27 Sep 2009 11:56 pm Category: Pacific Crest Trail
Over the last few years, M. and I have been doing sections of the Pacific Crest Trail, mostly as day hikes. This hike completes the sections from A-Tree trailhead near Graeagle, California, our northernmost section, to the Rubicon Trail crossing just outside Desolation Wilderness Area near Lake Tahoe. We had thought that this would be a boring hike uphill through the woods, judging by our hike last year on the other end of the same section, but as it turned out the trail is very nice and crosses streams via footbridges at several points. The PCT crosses the North Fork of the Yuba River at Loves Falls, which were nice now and would be spectacular in the spring, then follows the tributaries Haypress Creek and Milton Creek. The streams were welcome relief from the unusually hot late-September weather. We did a loop on the return via the Haypress Creek Valley campground.
11.75 mi (4.35 mi uphill, 4.92 mi downhill, 2.37 mi flat)
1200 ft total ascent Â - 12.3 % uphill grade, 37.3 % downhill grade
5:54:47 total time (5:04:47 moving, 0:50:00 stopped)
0:25:56 pace (2.3 mph average speed, 16.1 mph max speed)
15.1 difficulty, 29.7 effort<
GeoLocator for latitude 39.5767517 longitude -120.6127319
09 Aug 2009 11:59 pm Category: Pacific Crest Trail
Great overnight backpacking trip starting at Carson Pass. Loop includes partial sections J6 north of the Pacific Crest Trail and section 3 of the Tahoe-to-Yosemite Trail. There was a lot of up and down and back up on this hike! Beautiful area.
22.18 mi (9.43 mi uphill, 9.16 mi downhill, 3.44 mi flat)
3100 ft total ascent – 12.0 % uphill grade, 53.1 % downhill grade
1 day 2:53:21 total time (11:39:52 moving, 15:13:29 stopped)
0:31:32 pace (1.9 mph average speed)
31.9 difficulty, 57.9 effort
GeoLocator for latitude 38.6937218 longitude -119.9882126
11 Jul 2009 11:59 pm Category: Pacific Crest Trail
This was an overnight trip starting at Barker Pass, west of Lake Tahoe. We headed south on the Pacific Crest Trail to where it intersects the Rubicon Trail, a famously challenging 4WD “road”. We followed the Rubicon Trail, partway down to the Rubicon River canyon, except where we had to leave the road to go around traffic jams of stuck 4WD vehicles . . . . Eventually leaving the Rubicon, we bushwhacked to Fern Lake and then on to Long Lake. More accurately, we got whacked by the thick brush.
It started drizzling at Fern Lake, and was raining pretty hard when we got to Long Lake. Fortunately, there was a nice backcountry campsite, in an area that had burned a few years ago. We had to set up camp in the rain, and were pleased to find that the MSR Hubba Hubba tent went up easily without getting totally soaked. Still, my high-absorbency backpacking towel came in handy. Waited out the rain in the tent.
There was enough downed wood to find some dry tender to build a campfire after the rain subsided. We carry backcountry fire permits, and fire restrictions hadn’t gone into effect yet. But rarely do we have conditions where it seems safe to have a campfire, so that was a treat.
The next morning we took a different route up granite cliffs, more open but quite a climb, then followed roads of varying existential reality to get back to Barker Pass.
15.33 mi (5.87 mi uphill, 6.84 mi downhill, 2.52 mi flat)
1700 ft total ascentÂ – 14.6% uphill grade, 103.5% downhill grade
1 day 1:22:25 total time (8:06:12 moving, 17:16:13 stopped)
0:31:42 pace (1.9 mph average speed)
27.6 difficulty, 49.7 effort
GeoLocator for latitude 39.0769615 longitude -120.2348328