The trailhead for Flagpole consists of the Echo Lake trailhead and parking area. From US Hwy 50 in South Lake Tahoe, proceed to Echo Summit and look for a "Sno Park" turnoff just west of the now defunct "Little Norway" resort just 1.1 miles west of Echo Summit. This turnoff is Johnson Pass Road, and follow it back northeast 0.5 miles to Echo Lakes Road. Turn north and follow this road 1 mile back into the forest until the Echo Lakes parking area is reached. Start hiking from here, crossing the Echo Lake spillway.
Follow the Pacific Crest Trail for 5 or 10 minutes. When you get to a point where an sandy scree slope on your right heads up to an obvious ridge line, leave the trail and gain that ridge (the summit of Flagpole Peak (and the flagpole) can be seen almost the entire time). Follow the ridge line (including a few class 3 sections) in a north westerly direction until getting to the highpoint.
Snowshoes in winter maybe necessary. Granite rocks can be wet and icy in winter, so be careful.
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