The Sierra Nevada's Courtright Reservoir is generally noted for its granite domes and the excellent climbing that they support. Though not touted but still excellent are the tall peaks that form the lake's western skyline. Although Eagle Peak may not be as striking as its neighbor, Dogtooth Peak, it is nonetheless, one of the finer mountains in the area. The massive granite boulders and exfoliating granite slabs give the peak a familiar, sierra type feel to it. It is also the most accessible of the high peaks around Courtright. Nonetheless, Eagle Peak seems to avoid much attention and is not climbed with great frequency.
Eagle Peak is the southernmost peak in a cluster of high peaks that exceed 10,000 feet. Most of these peaks fall within the boundaries of the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness. Heading east from the Fresno area, these are the first peaks to break the 10,000 foot threshold. As the name of the wilderness implies, lakes abound amongst these peaks. Most of these are nestled around the Three Sisters and Dogtooth Peak, though some fine lakes, particularly Sportsmen Lake are found near the southern end of the wilderness. Alone among the mountains in the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness, Eagle Peak does not host lakes of significance. Aside from some nameless tarns on the north flank of the mountain and some ephemeral ponds at its eastern foot, there are no lakes on Eagle Peak. In spite of this, the mountain is still a spectacular granite edifice. From the lake, the peak looks like a small granite, talus covered dome atop a long forest ridge. However, viewed from the north, the massive cirque of exfoliating granite is exposed, giving the mountain a much more impressive countenance.
Not surprisingly, the views from the summit are phenomenal, stretching from the Cathedral Range in Yosemite south to Sequoia National Park. The image of Courtright and all of its smooth faced domes with the serrated skyline of the High Sierra hovering above is pretty hard to shake. Nearby Nelson Mountain is nearly as tall as Eagle Peak and lies just outside of the wilderness boundary. Meadow ringed Nelson Lake lies in the large basin between Eagle Peak and the main portion of the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness. The Three Sisters and dramatic Dogtooth Peak are the highest points in this area.
Eagle Peak Map
The route to the summit of Eagle Peak is fairly straight forward. It begins at the Cliff Lake Trailhead on the western shore of Courtright Reservoir, near the gate to the small private development of Courtright Village. From the parking area, strike out immediately to the west, eschewing the Cliff Lake trail completely. While the forest is thick at the outset, it thins swiftly. Once the woods open up and one finds oneself on open granite terrain, there are two options to reach the summit. The most direct route climbs the crest of the ridge leading to the summit, generally staying to the right, on the crest's north side. The other option is to veer left, passing two small ponds while following the southern flank of the ridge that leads to the summit. The two can be combined to form a loop.
Whichever route one takes, the goal is to follow the ridge to the base of the boulder field below the summit. From here, one can either follow the rim of the large cirque directly up to the summit. An alternate route is to head towards a massive outcropping south of the summit. This outcrop resembles a large hoof. From there the grade to the summit is somewhat less than approaching the top of the mountain directly.
Getting ThereFrom Fresno, head northeast on HIghway 168 for 46.5 miles. In the community of Shaver, turn right onto Dinkey Creek Road and proceed for 12 miles. After passing the Dinkey Creek Ranger Station, turn right onto McKinley Grove Road. Continue for 13.5 miles, passing the McKinley Grove of Giant Sequoias en route. Turn left onto Hall Meadow Road and then immediately right onto Courtright way. Follow this road for 7.5 miles to the Courtright Reservoir. At the intersection near the boat ramp, stay left, continuing on Courtright Way for another 2.5 miles to the Cliff Lake Trailhead, immediately before the road dead ends at the gate for private Courtright Villate.
CampingCourtright Reservoir boasts three campgrounds. Trapper Springs is within walking distance of the trailhead while Marmot Rock is at the southern end of the lake. Voyager Rock is on the east side of the lake. Dispersed camping is permitted just about anywhere.
There are no permits required for a day outing to Eagle Peak. Portions of the peak, particularly on the north side, fall within the boundaries of the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness. Normal wilderness rules and ethics apply.
Please refer to the fine Courtright Reservoir Logistical Center Page for further information.
Sierra National Forest
1600 Tollhouse Road
Clovis, CA 93611
Dinkey Creek Ranger Station
Located on Dinkey Creek Road.