Bull Run Peak is a broad plateau east of Bull Run Lake in the lightly-used Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. Its a straightforward talus hop up the southeast flank to the summit, which has nice views of other nearby peaks. Its unusually large and broad summit (several hundred feet across) and copious rock "art" make it a worthwhile destination.
Bull Run Peak can be approached via several different trailheads., the closest being Stanislaus Meadow (approx. 5.5mi one-way to the summit), Mosquito Lakes (5.8mi one-way), and Pacific Valley (3.6mi one-way, and the least amount of off-trail hiking).
To get there from I-5, follow Hwy. 4 east past Bear Valley and Lake Alpine. The Stanislaus Meadow TH is about a mile before you reach Mosquito Lakes, also a trailhead. Continue about 5 miles past Mosquito Lakes, down the Pacific Grade if you want to start from the Pacific Valley TH.
Permits are not required for day hikes in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. If you want to spend the night (Bull Run Lake is a nice place to pack into), an overnight permit is required. It is freely available, with no quota, from the Calaveras Ranger District HQ in Hathaway Pines (just west of the town of Avery on Hwy. 4). See the Stanislaus NF's website for other permit locations and more information.
When To Climb
Highway 4 is closed from Lake Alpine to south of Markleeville from the first big storm of the winter until mid-May, give or take, depending on weather conditions. Unless you want a fairly long trot over the snow, late spring to late fall is the best time.
Camping is possibly nearby. The most desirable sites are at Bull Run Lake and perhaps Heiser Lake, both of which are easily accessible from either the Stanislaus Meadow or Mosquito Lakes trailheads.
Henry, Peep Sight, and Lookout Peaks, all to Bull Run's northeast, are close enough to combine with Bull Run for a multi-peak day, although I haven't done this myself.
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