Back to index Pickett Peak from Sorenson's Resort Hike
Trip Date:  10/09/2015

: 8.7 Miles

Vertical Gain: 2200'

Group Size: 4

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Pickett Peak Route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Pickett Peak Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 46.495, W 119 54.238     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 50 east toward Woodfords and Markleeville.  About 3/4 miles past the intersection with Highway 89 at Pickett's Junction is Sorenson's Resort.  There is a parking area directly across the road on the north side so that parking spots at the resort are not taken.
Hazards of Note:   Mosquitos, tics, loose rock and shale up to the peak.

Crowd Factor:   Minimal.  The beginning of the hike is directly behind Sorenson's Resort, a very popular destination, but there were no others out on the trails while we were there.  
General Notes:
Just to the west of the resort is a dirt road blocked by a gate, which starts to head uphill through a grove of Aspen trees.  Head past the gate and up this road, gaining over 600 feet of elevation within the first mile to mile and a half.  The trail bends back and forth as it meanders up the hill, finally reaching a junction about two and a half miles up where you need to be sure to keep to the right.  Winding around the bend the trail then heads almost directly west, then after it bends south again there is another junction where you will take the road to the left, so that you don't end up back down the hill at Blue Lakes Road.  At this junction there is also a well-worn use trail which heads toward the peak, but we continued on down Pickett Road for a ways and enjoyed lunch with a wonderful view north toward Freel Peak and Armstrong Pass.  Keep and eye out for rock cairns on the right (south) side of the road here, which is where we left the trail and headed cross country, following these cairns through the forest until we reached the rocks at the base of the peak itself.  There is some bushwacking involved if you don't come out far enough to the east, and then the ascent we made was up the east side of the mountain of rocks.  

In early October, one would expect this type of color to be found all along the trail as the trees turn for the winter, but in the fourth year of drought, many of the apsens had simply seen their leaves turn brown and drop.  Sad. Color at the start
Right behind the Sorenson's Resort was a trail through the aspen which should have been a tunnel through gold leaves with gold all along the ground as well, but not this year. Into the aspens 
A couple views of the peak we would be climbing, albiet these are from the opposite direction during a previous hike to Hawkins Peak. A look at the peak A look at the peak
Hope Valley starting to make an appearance far to the west and below our route. Hope Valley
It turned out to be almost 80 degrees on this day, and we had to all layer down significantly on the way up. Almost 80 degrees 
The trail continues up and up, meandering back and forth a number of times along the way. Continuing up
Our lunch spot overlooking Freel Peak and Armstrong Pass. Freel Peak
After leaving the trail, we had to follow a reasonably well marked cairn path to get to near the base of the peak for the final ascent. Following the cairns
The final ascent up to the peak was rocky and slippery with significant amounts of scree along the way. Rocky climb
The climb was rewarded all along the way with amazing views back down to Hope Valley and even the peaks from the Crystal Range far in the distance. Great Views
At a saddle near the top there were also some pretty amazing view to the south, and the path partially up to the top of Hawkins Peak on the left. South Views
The distinctive Hawkins Peak just to the southeast of Pickett. Hawkins
Phil enjoying some of the views from the saddle before we made the last assault on the top of Pickett Peak. Phil and views
Making our way from the saddle up the last bit to the top. Final ascent
Julia enjoying the views from the very top of Pickett Peak. At the top
Some of the amazing 360 degree views that are displayed from the very top of Pickett Peak. The views
Very carefully heading back down with Nevada's Carson Valley in the far distance below us. Heading back down
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike