Truly, the best way to get to Cooks Peak is to climb Shirley Peak first, and then hike 1 mile due East staying on the downward sloping ridge that is the saddle between the two peaks. Directions below where it says to do both Shirley & Cooks Peak.
That being said there is another way that you can take. Follow the driving directions listed below for To do just Cooks Peak. Hike due East .2 miles up to the summit of Cooks Peak (6921'). The elevation gain is 261'.
Getting ThereFrom Wofford Heights take SR 155, 7.7 miles to Greenhorn Summit.
~I-5 North to Bakersfield, exit 178 east. Go to Lake Isabella and exit on SR155, follow signs to Wofford Heights.
~From Ridgecrest, Hwy 14 to 178 west, follow signs to Kernville, then go west on 155 to Wofford Heights.
~From 99 southbound, take 155 east to Greenhorn Summit, turn left on 24S15.
~It is also possible to take Rancheria Road from Highway 178 in Rio Bravo near Bakersfield though it is a dirt road for much of the way.
To the Shirley Meadows Trailhead to do both Shirley & Cooks Peak. From the sand shed on the Greenhorn Summit take Rancheria Rd. South for 3 miles to Alta Sierra at Shirley Meadows parking lot. Drive .3 miles past, and you will see a small dirt parking area. You will see the trailhead on the East side of the road.
To do just Cooks Peak. Follow the directions above, but stop at the paved parking lot. Drive back the way you came (NNE) .1 miles, and turn right on that dirt road. Drive .9 +/- .1 miles (SSE) on the dirt road (25S31)and park there on the saddle (6660') between Shirley and Cooks peak. You will be in very dense trees so I would measure the distance with your odometer.
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Red TapeThis is not a wilderness area, so permits are not required.
Greenhorn Ranger District
4875 Ponderosa Drive
P.O. Box 3810
Lake Isabella, CA 93240
Tule River Ranger District
32588 Highway 190
Springville, CA 93265
CampingEvans Flat, Alder Creek, Rancheria Rd. & Cedar Creek.
Camping & other lodging is also available in nearby Lake Isabella, Kernville, and Wofford Heights.
External LinksWeather from the National Weather Service
Lake Isabella Online