Back to index Deadwood Peak Hike
Trip Date:  06/26/2015

: 11.5 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1400'

Group Size: 2

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Deadwood Peak Route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Deadwood Peak Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 37.751, W 119 56.345     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 88 to Blue Lakes road and turn south.  Follow the road for a little more than 13 miles to the parking area on the left between the two lakes.    After 11 1/2 miles the road turns to the north, and becomes dirt for the last few miles.   Park in the dirt lot near the dam for Upper Blue Lake.
Hazards of Note:   Bears, limited shade after the first two miles, a steep final climb to the peak.

Crowd Factor:   Moderate for the first 2 miles and then negligible past Granite Lake.   
General Notes:
From the parking area you will immediately cross over a metal bridge, spanning the overflow for the Upper Blue Lake.  Soon after you will see a sign for the start of the trail, pointing you off to the left through a forested area.  There is a water crossing over a log fairly soon in the hike, but it is easy and has been well traversed.  The trail turns to the left again after this point, and continues through the forested area.  After about a mile you will pass a small, unnamed lake on the right side of the trail, and then start a gradual climb of about 300' over the next mile to Granite Lake.  The trail passes along the south end of Granite Lake within inches of the water, and then look for the rock cairns (stacked stones) which indicate about halfway around the lake where you will turn left and head up to continue on the Grouse Lake Trail.  About a 1/2 mile ahead you will pass through the greenery watered by the first of four natural springs which cross the trail between Granite Lake and Deadwood Peak.  The trail crosses the spring and then meanders back and forth for the next couple of miles, gaining a good deal of elevation including up two slippery steep draws which don't appear to be the trail at first glance but are.  When the trail finally leaves all trees behind between miles four and five, look for a final rise which then offers a pretty straight-forward walk up a draw just to the left of the actual peak.   Climbing to the top of this gap then allows a walk-up to the peak to the east.   There was no summit log, just a small pile of rocks indicating the actual location of the summit.

Upper Blue Lake, near the dam at the south end which is the starting point of the Grouse Lake Trail. Blue Lake
Heading across the spillway at the south end of Upper Blue Lake.  Don't continue along the dam from here, but make a left at the sign just across this spillway bridge. Across the spillway 
The start of the actual trail just across the spillway. Sign
A mile into the hike is where you officially cross into the Mokelumne Wilderness. Wilderness boundary
Almost to the first lake, the trail emerges from the forest for a little while.  There are great views to the southeast of the central Sierras on days not filled with smoke. Almost to the first lake
Passing the first, unnamed lake along the trail. First Lake
There is about 300' of elevation gain to Granite Lake, two miles into the hike.  Most of it occurs in the last 3/4 mile before the lake. Starting to climb
There were tons of wildflowers along the way, both in the forested areas and even up near the peak. Lots of wildflowers on the way.
Colors everywhere along the trail. More flowers
A first look at Granite Lake, as the trail passes along the southern border very close to the water. Granite Lake
Another look back at Granite Lake from near where the trail jogs left and climbs up and away from the lake. Another Look
Passing through the abundant greenery fed by the first natural spring along the trail past Granite Lake. First Spring
As the trail starts to climb along the south ridge of Deadwood, the views to the south really open up. Views open up to the Southwest
Looking down at Meadow Lake further south from the trail. Meadow Lake
Looking west toward Mokelumne Peak. Mokelumne Peak
One of the steep sections of trail as it gets closer to Deadwood Peak, just barely visible in the background. Steep section of trail
The meadow below has a meandering stream through it which is fed by three separate springs which come out of the mountain just above the trail. Spring Meadow
Trail up to the last rise before an ascent directly up to Deadwood Peak. Near the last climb
Me near the top (center) making my assault on the last 500' to the peak. Headed to the peak
Looking across at 4th of July Lake and Pass across Summit City Canyon.   The trail out of the canyon to the Lake and beyond can be seen to the lower right in the pic. 4th of July Lake
A look across Summit City Canyon at the extremely steep backside of Round Top Mountain. Back of Round Top
Looking back down toward the trail, with my hiking partner Mark keeping an eye on my pack which I left for the climb to the peak. A look down toward the trail
Looking back at Upper Blue Lake from the top of Deadwood Peak. Looking back at Upper Blue Lake
One more look on the way back at the spring meadow far below the trail. One more look at the Sporing Meadow far below
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike