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
GeoLocator for latitude 39.4180489 longitude -120.4022217