Back to index Bald Mountain from Packsaddle Pass
Trip Date:  09/25/2015

: 7.25 Miles

Vertical Gain: 700'

Group Size: 2

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Bald Mountain route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Bald Mountain Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 45.646, W 120 10.696     End Coordinates:   Same as starting coordinates.
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 50 Strawberry Creek Rd.  Turn right immediately as you cross over the river, and follow this until it turns into Packsaddle Pass Rd after Station Creek Rd on your right.  Stay on Packsaddle Rd for a few miles, avoiding any of three dirt turnoffs to the left.  When you get near the coordinates, pull off onto the dirt road on the right and park anywhere in the area.
Hazards of Note:   Snakes, tics, and hunters during the hunting season. Crowd Factor:   Very limited.  This is a very lightly used 4WD trail and has even fewer hikers.
General Notes:
From the parking area, walk past the green gate and head down the road.  The trail goes down gradually at first, and then for much of the next couple of miles it will have a constant gradual incline to it.  The entire trail is a wide dirt road, and is easy to follow.  Near the very end there is a small signpost on the left indicating the continuation of the Pony Express trail on a single-track trail toward Sugarloaf, but stay on the road to the right and wind down to Highway 50 and the vehicle(s) parked at the pickup location.

Heading up the dirt road near the start of the hike, which would slowly narrow and fade over the first three miles toward Bald Mountain. Heading out
The plants were very dry this late into the season, but the views off to the south were pretty interesting with a number of familiar landmarks starting with Mokelumne Peak showing up in the distance. Views south
These pretty tough ants had obtained a caterpillar and were taking it somewhere for what was going to apparently be a huge feast. Circle of life
My hiking partner Mark checking out the view northeast toward Pyramid Peak from along the way. Mark checking out Pyramid
About two and a half miles into the day we found outselves greeted with a pretty amazing view of Pyramid Peak on the right and Mt. Agassiz and Mt. Price toward the left side. Crystal Range
Much of Carson Pass was visible from here, including the Kirkwood ridgeline (Thunder Mountain,) West Pass and even 10K foot Round Top far to the left. Carson Pass
This was a pretty unexpected find for me, displaying a classic example of staggered erosion.  Awesome spot!
Balancing Rock
Myself at the rock, offering some perspective on how large the thing really was.  It was impressive, and though has been there for eons, still felt weird to be under it. Rock size perspective
After a scratchy section of cross country hiking, we approached the top of Bald Mountain by walking up the south side of the mostly granite covered dome. Nearing the peak
After a scratchy section of cross country hiking, we approached the top of Bald Mountain by walking up the south side of the mostly granite covered dome. Shelter at the peak
Mark at the peak, as we spent a little time searching around for an apparently now missing benchmark. Mark at the peak
Though Bald Mountain is not particularly impressive on its own, the views toward the Crystal Range and the back of Desolation Wilderness were amazing. Clear shot of Crystal Range
Just to the west is the distinctive formation seen from Highway 50 known as Eagle Rock. Eagle Rock
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike