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.


Trail Facts

  • Distance: 23.8


Checking the notes

Location: 38.6130027770996, -119.856864929199

©Jack Haskel


Location: 38.5460166931152, -119.811431884766

Cross CA 4 near Ebbetts Pass


Location: 38.5558013916016, -119.828536987305

Kinney Lakes


Location: 38.5930328369141, -119.821029663086

Saddle bridging Eagle Creek and Pennsylvania Creek drainages


Location: 38.6080513000488, -119.81729888916

Saddle between Pennsylvania Creek and Raymond Canyon Creek


Location: 38.6168518066406, -119.831520080566

Straight @ Raymond Lake trail


Location: 38.6171836853027, -119.83683013916

Raymond Lake outlet creek


Location: 38.6214981079102, -119.845764160156

Stay straight @ saddle with Wet Meadows TH spur


Location: 38.6076011657715, -119.875152587891

Cross dirt road


Location: 38.6061515808106, -119.876831054688

Cross a better dirt road


Location: 38.6061172485352, -119.886215209961

Lily Pad Lake


Location: 38.6212005615234, -119.906768798828

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


Location: 38.6245002746582, -119.908683776855

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

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