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California Trails

Pacific Crest Trail: Best Weekend – Mokelumne Wilderness, CA

Hike past bizarre volcanic formations to a campsite offering remote sunrise views of the northern Sierras on this 14.8-mile trek.

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Yosemite this ain’t. Here in the northern Sierra, you leave the ubiquitous granite behind for a surreal landscape of volcanic plugs, lava flows, and colorful pinnacles. The geologic peculiarities begin in Raymond Meadows, which is a few miles north of Ebbetts Pass, the starting point of this south-north traverse. You’ll walk past innumerable bizarre formations scattered between 8,000 and 9,000 feet, across country intermittently vegetated with sagebrush or pine and hemlock. The often-faint trail enhances your sense of remoteness. The most soul-stirring scene: From 8,650 feet on the ridge northeast of Reynolds Peak, you’ll gaze north at a massive, perfectly symmetrical rock dome across the Eagle Creek Valley, and beyond it, cathedral-like Peak 9700. Camp at Raymond Lake, reached by a .7-mile spur midway through this hike, for a stunning show of dawn light.

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Trail Facts

  • Distance: 23.8

Waypoints

Checking the notes

Location: 38.6130027770996, -119.856864929199

©Jack Haskel

PCT587

Location: 38.5460166931152, -119.811431884766

Cross CA 4 near Ebbetts Pass

PCT588

Location: 38.5558013916016, -119.828536987305

Kinney Lakes

PCT589

Location: 38.5930328369141, -119.821029663086

Saddle bridging Eagle Creek and Pennsylvania Creek drainages

PCT590

Location: 38.6080513000488, -119.81729888916

Saddle between Pennsylvania Creek and Raymond Canyon Creek

PCT591

Location: 38.6168518066406, -119.831520080566

Straight @ Raymond Lake trail

PCT592

Location: 38.6171836853027, -119.83683013916

Raymond Lake outlet creek

PCT593

Location: 38.6214981079102, -119.845764160156

Stay straight @ saddle with Wet Meadows TH spur

PCT594

Location: 38.6076011657715, -119.875152587891

Cross dirt road

PCT595

Location: 38.6061515808106, -119.876831054688

Cross a better dirt road

PCT596

Location: 38.6061172485352, -119.886215209961

Lily Pad Lake

PCT597

Location: 38.6212005615234, -119.906768798828

Tamarack TH spur going L; stay straight unless you want to visit the large Lower Blue Lake

PCT598

Location: 38.6245002746582, -119.908683776855

Cross paved Blue Lakes Road which leads to the very popular Blue Llakes campgrounds

How to Pack for Backcountry Skiing

Get to know the winter safety gear you need in your pack.

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