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High elevation trailheads


Original Post
James T · · Livermore · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 80

Any favorite places to park at high elevation on the western side of the mountains? Basically anywhere south of 49 and north of 140. Obviously some highways close in winter but just looking for some spots where I can get the car to do the bulk of the work before i slaughter my legs.

This obviously has nothing to do with the recent bout of high elevation rain...

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
James T wrote:

Any favorite places to park at high elevation on the western side of the mountains? Basically anywhere south of 49 and north of 140. Obviously some highways close in winter but just looking for some spots where I can get the car to do the bulk of the work before i slaughter my legs.

This obviously has nothing to do with the recent bout of high elevation rain...

Looking at a map, this doesn't really make sense. The 49 runs north and south.

Edit: The higher elevation trailheads are on the east side of the Sierra, not the west. Of course "high elevation" is relative, but on the east side, there are trailheads over 10,000 feet.

James T · · Livermore · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 80

You're right, that was a poor boundary condition. So we'll say south of 80. 

Carson pass at 8,600 is the highest i can think of that stays open year-round. Mt. Rose is 8,900 (is that technically east side?). I know the east side wins in terms of elevation but it's hard to get there in the winter with road closures.

Maureen Maguire · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 0
James T · · Livermore · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 80

I’ve used the Waterhouse shoulder on 89, but not during a snowstorm. I don’t mind paying for Sno-Parks, but they can get a little nutty sometimes (watched an adult sled into my car followed by a lambo peeling out past all the crowds). 

Tapawingo Markey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75

What are you trying to do? Ski, hike, just drive around? Being more specific could help get you pointed in the right direction. 

James T · · Livermore · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 80

Genuinely generally curious, but at present it’s all about snow. I know that high elevation trailheads don’t always lead to the tallest of peaks with lots of skiable vert, but I’m far from familiar with every inch of the mountains so it’s worth prodding.

plus isn’t the internet for pointless vague non-useful questions anyway

David S. · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 10

You're right, that was a poor boundary condition.

You sound like a physicist. We should climb together.

plus isn’t the internet for pointless vague non-useful questions anyway

I've been going to the Pyramid Creek Trailhead across from the Leap and heading up into the Desolation Wilderness/Lake Aloha basin. There was a ton a beautiful snow up there last weekend and I am earning my chops on ski alpinism in the area. Plus, if you get bored you can just bail out (note it's almost 4000' elevation gain to the summit of Pyramid) and go climb at the Leap, if it's warm enough/the afternoon.


Hopefully that gives you a non-vague un-non-useful answer.

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430

88 is where its at for best ski touring in a lean year, imo, or any other time for that matter.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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