Back to index Raymond Peak Hike
Trip Date:  08/26/2016

: 6.8 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1600'

Group Size: 6

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Raymond Peak Route
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Raymond Peak Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 36.003, W 119 52.188     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   4WD Required.  Take Highway 88 to the Blue Lakes Road turn south, just to the west of Pickett's Junction.  Go south on Blue Lakes road 11.5 miles to the turnoff for the Tamarack Junction trailhead for the Pacific Crest Trail, otherwise known as Sunset Lake Road.  Follow this often 4WD necessary road 3.5 miles to the parking area indicated at the coordinates, just short of Wet Meadows reservoir.  High clearance vehicles may be able to continue all the way to the Wet Meadows Trailhead at the southeast end of the lake.
Hazards of Note:   Access to the trailhead, route-finding, mosquitos, tics, loose rock and shale and a tenuous climb up to the peak.

Crowd Factor:   Minimal.  This is a remote area of the Mokelumne Wilderness, and the state of the access roads means that there will be few people at the lake.  The hike itself is nearly all cross country and chances of meeting another hiker or group are minimal.
General Notes:
From the trailhead parking, head along the dirt road to the west, which follows along the south edge of Wet Meadows Reservoir to the trailhead sign.  Wilderness permits are available here, if needed for overnight stays in the Mokelumne Wilderness.  Continue on this trail for about 1/2 mile to the junction of the Wet Meadows Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT.)  Turn right, and follow the PCT up for just about a tenth of a mile.  There is a light use trail off to the right, which heads up a rise toward the south.  Follow this trail for as long as possible, always heading to the south in the forest.  At some point the trail will disappear, and it is a matter of finding the best way up to the ridgeline which comes down from the Peak generally to the south.  Once you attain the ridgeline, carefully pick your way up the volcanic rocks toward the tallest of the three general peaks at the summit area, where you should find a summit register.

One of our hiking group, Julia, checking out all of the information available at the Wet Meadows trailhead kiosk.  Note the overnight wilderness permits available at this location. Wet Meadows trailhead at the SE corner of the lake
Mark and Greg making their way up the mostly-dirt Wet Meadows trail. Making our way up Wet Meadows trail 
Greg and Karl entering the wilderness area just as we join up with the Pacific Crest Trail for approximately .10 of a mile. Greg and Karl at the Wilderness boundary at the PCT junction 
After the tenth of a mile on the PCT, the use trail to the south can be found and followed for a good mile to the south before it fades out and requires cross country hiking for the rest of the way to the top. Heading up the use trail 
Our first good look at Raymond Peak on a day that had some smoke in the air from a few fires burning to the south of our area. First glance
The trail heads up sharply, but the views to the north of Alpine County and the distinctive Jeff Davis Peak in the middle right of the picture.  Climbing up 
A couple miles into the hike you will cross a stream which is spring-fed and should be available year-round. Spring fed creek
Amazing rock formations abound in the area, evidence of the volcanic activity which formed much of this area. Rock formations Rock formations
Mark and Karl heading up the very steep slope, especially as you near the ridgeline. Heading up the steep slope
Just about 3/10 of a mile from the summit is a saddle with amazing views both to the north and also to the south.  The southern view has amazing looks all the way down to Ebbet's Pass and even further beyond. Approaching the saddle
A look to the south from the saddle, with Reynolds Peak just to the left along the next ridgeline, and the thumb-like peak above the Kinney Lakes just visible on the right. Southern View
You can just make out Phil, in bright green making his way up the rest of the way to the peak.  The scale of the mountain, even this close to the top is impressive. Climbing the rest of the way
Another look to the top of Raymond Peak, and the tenuous scramble required to gain the summit from this side. Another look to the top
Raymond Lake is visible from the peak, looking to the northeast.  The Pacific Crest Trail runs just on the other side of the lake as it heads down to Ebbet's Pass. From the top
Greg enjoying the amazing views with Reynold's Peak visible behind him in the distance.  Some have been known to make it to the top of both of these peaks in one day, but not the way we went. Taking in the view
Making our way back down the mountain, with the jagged terrain of the ridgeline visible in the distance far above. Making our way back
On the way down we could make out a section of the PCT which heads toward Raymond Lake and Ebbet's Pass. Looking down at a section of the PCT to be explored
The trail marker indicating the junction of the PCT with Wet Meadows trail. Trail junction marker
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike