ApproachStart at the Mountain Lake campground/trailhead.
Topozone link: trailhead.
Route DescriptionHike north along the lake toward Twin Lakes. The first 1.4 miles is mostly flat is it stays low beside the water. Turn left at a junction toward Twin Lakes. It's another 0.8 mile and 200 feet of gain to the Twin Lakes. Turn left again and very quickly start gaining steeply up switchbacks toward the summit, another 1.5 miles further. Sections can be steep, but the views are tremendous. The route curls around the north tip of the summit, then swings west and actually comes out onto the road just west of the summit. Hike the road the last few feet to the top. A huge stone lookout tower sits at the summit, with some nearby rocks holding the benchmark and witness markers.
For the descent, we followed the Little Summit Trail from the top, which starts from near the restrooms. From here one gets wonderful high ridge views. Little Summit itself is 2.2 miles from the true summit, and 200 feet lower. To return to Mountain Lake campground take a left about 0.1 mile before Little Summit and follow an older, steeper trail down to the bottom. This particular trail is not shown on the topo map.
The loop is about 7 miles with just under 1,500 feet of gain.
This link offers other hiking options at Moran State Park.
Hiking at Moran SP