Mt. Reba is a simple day climb that can be done year round. It is located in the Stanislaus National Forest three miles northeast of Bear Valley Ski Area. Mt. Reba is settled into a ridgeline that in the summer has gentle slopes with wildflowers, and in the winter offers a heavily corniced ridge with great ski descents on the windward/south side. The roundtrip to climb Mt. Reba is about seven miles. This is a good recreational climb with no technical sections or steep trails.
The approach to Mt. Reba starts from Lake Alpine on CA 4 between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. To get there from the Bay area and from the west, take 580 east to 205, north on I-5 for a minute, east on 120, north on 99, then east on CA 4. Travel on CA 4 for 47 miles to Angels Camp.
When you come to Angels Camp (CA 4 E meets CA 49) turn right and go through angels camp. After about a mile through town turn left onto CA 4. Travel about 50 miles past the town of Arnold, the last ‘real’ town with amenities, and then past Bear Valley. Once past Bear Valley, it is just over 2 miles to Lake Alpine. You’ll pass a left turn for Bear Valley Ski Resort just before arriving at Lake Alpine. During the winter, CA 4 is closed a few hundred yards past the turn for Bear Valley Ski Area and before reaching Lake Alpine. This area is a Sno-Park during the winter and a Sno-Park pass is required to park there. Mt. Reba is north off the road.
From Lake Tahoe or from the east, take 4 west off of 88. Once you pass Ebbett’s Pass, it is only a few miles until you reach Lake Alpine. During the winter, take 88 or 50 west to 99 and head south. Then head east on CA 4 as directed above.
There are no restrictions or permits required to climb Mt. Reba. The only consideration is during the winter. The road is closed just before Lake Alpine and this area is considered a Snow Park parking area. A daily Sno-Park pass is $5, and a season Sno-Park pass is $25. The season pass is good at all Sno-Park parking areas in California.
When To Climb
Mt. Reba is a great mountain to climb year round. It is a short trip with just over a thousand feet of elevation gain. During the summer, the area is bare and warm. For those who prefer to climb without snow, late June through September are the best months.
For winter travelers who desire a good snow pack for snowshoeing or for a ski tour, January through April are the best months.
There are six developed campgrounds, among others, near Lake Alpine and close to the trailhead for Mt. Reba. The closest of these campgrounds is Lake Alpine Campground. It’s located at 7300’ at the edge of the lake and hosts a stiff $14.50 fee, as is the fee of the other campgrounds nearby due to popularity. This campground as well as most of the others in this area are on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.
There is no camping on Mt. Reba.
For more information on the campgrounds near Lake Alpine and off of CA 4 check here or here.
For lodging information, visit Lake Alpine Lodging or Alpine Country Lodging.
For road conditions, visit Caltrans.
For weather conditions, visit the National Weather Service or Onthesnow.com.
For a topo map, use the USGS 7.5’ for Tamarack, CA.