Category ArchivePacific Crest Trail

27 Oct 2013 07:34 pm    Category: Pacific Crest Trail    

Paradise Lake and Peak 8821

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Loop hike starting on the Pacific Crest Trail at White Rock Lake Road, to Paradise Valley and Paradise Lake, then cross-country over Peak 8821 to the Mt. Lola Trail and back by White Rock Lake. Includes great views of Warren Lake and Independence Lake.  Follows part of the Pacific Crest Divide  from the granite ridge east dividing Paradise Lake (Pacific drainage) and Warren Lake (Great Basin drainage) to the granite saddle above White Rock Lake (Pacific side) separating it from Independence Lake (Great Basin side) .  This is possibly the last Sierra hike of the seasons, because it snowed on 10/28.

The White Rock Lake Road area is currently being logged (see photos). The road has been improved, but is now very dusty from truck traffic (and will be muddy and slick when wet).  On the first third-mile of the P.C.T. south of White Rock Lake Road, newly felled trees block the trail at several points, requiring detours through brush. Attempting to cross the downed trees under snow this winter and next spring could be hazardous. The trail is good past the White Rock Creek bridge and over the ridge into Paradise Valley.

The cross-country portion includes the granite ridge on the east side of Paradise Lake, heading north to a saddle southeast of Peak 8821. This requires some route-picking and scrambling, partly following cairns over the granite. Then it’s a fairly easy walk up the ridge to Peak 8821, but the descent down the north side has a short section of loose scree—okay if taken slowly.  The further descent to the granite saddle above White Rock Lake requires more route-picking to avoid drop-offs, but is fairly easy, steep in places.


9.86 mi (4.09 mi uphill, 4.25 mi downhill, 1.45 mi flat)
1700 ft total ascent – 18.1 % uphill grade, 148.2 % downhill grade
5:28:06 total time (4:47:34 moving, 0:40:32 stopped)
0:29:09 pace (2.1 mph average speed, 7.3 mph max speed)
30.7 difficulty, 60.1 effort

Geotag Icon GeoLocator for latitude 39.4180489 longitude -120.4022217

08 Jul 2012 06:37 pm    Category: Donner Lake Rim Trail &Pacific Crest Trail &Tahoe OGUL Peak List    

Castle Peak and Basin Peak

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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.


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

Geotag Icon GeoLocator for latitude 39.3396988 longitude -120.3428879

14 Aug 2010 10:26 pm    Category: Pacific Crest Trail &Tahoe OGUL Peak List    

Mt. Lola & White Rock Lake

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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 39.42378° N 120.37018° 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  - 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

Geotag Icon GeoLocator for latitude 39.4883385 longitude -120.3405075

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