Loop hike, via the P.C.T. from Donner Summit to Castle Peak and Basin Peak, returning via the Warren Lake Trail. There were spectacular displays of wildflowers in each of the drainages in Coon Canyon, below the northeastern face of Castle Peak.
The loop route starts on Castle Pass Road, joins the P.C.T. to Castle Pass, then up to Castle Peak, across the ridge to Basin Peak, proceeding north down Basin Peak to the connector trail towards Devils Oven Lake/Paradise Lake overlook, and then to the Warren Lake Tail that passes through Coon Canyon on the northeast side of Castle Peak. Finally up to the Frog Lake Overlook summit and back to the road. The wildflowers in Coon Canyon were spectacular! This loop doesn’t actual go to the lakes, you just get to see them from afar. I rated the trail “difficult” because of the steep, rocky, and loose trails on the ascent to Castle Peak and on the Warren Lake Trail, as well as the intermittently disappearing trail on the Devils Oven connector, but it’s basically class 1 and 2. The shortest access to Coon Canyon is from the I-80 P.C.T. trailhead via the Warren Lake Trail passing Summit Lake (signed junction with the PCT just north of the freeway).
13.91 mi (5.93 mi uphill, 6.25 mi downhill, 1.65 mi flat)
2950 ft total ascent – 16.4 % uphill grade, 75.8 % downhill grade
9:04:40 total time (7:18:05 moving, 1:46:35 stopped)
0:31:29 pace (1.9 mph average speed)
32.1 difficulty, 55.8 effort
GeoLocator for latitude 39.3410416 longitude -120.3476334