Carpenter Hill is not much, but has the distinction of being the high point of Sacramento county as well a being the lowest county high point in California. It makes a great first climb because of its location and ease of climb.
But don't let that fool you in to thinking its not worth your time. The view from the top is one of the best I've seen. Because it is on the western edge of the Sierra Nevada foothills the view of the central valley is almost unbeatable.
Carpenter Hill is a rounded hill topped by antennas. A new housing development now covers the sides, but because of the antenna facilities on top you can still reach the top and see the valley instead of someone's house.
Getting ThereGetting to Carpenter Hill is pretty darn easy. You can see Carpenter Hill from U.S. Highway 50. From Highway 50 take the East Bidwell St exit. Drive north on E. Bidwell St until you get to Broadstone Parkway. Turn Right on to Broadstone and drive till you reach Serpa Way, about 3 intersections. Turn right on Serpa and take a left at Caversham Way. Drive on Caversham for about a mile (it has a few bends) until you reach a gate.
Find a place to park and walk through the gate and follow the single lane road that services the antenna facilities. When you reach the top you will notice a pile of rocks near the fence. On the piles farthest east you will find a benchmark (sorry no summit registry). A more strenuous variation of this route would be to park at the Starbucks at the bottom of the hill.
Sadly since my first trip up to Carpenter Hill I have made two trips there and the gate has been locked up both times. Both of those times have been on a Saturday in the late afternoon. One of these days I'll make a trip up on a weekday to check. But in my opinion the gate is closed for good.
When To Climb
Campingthe Parks' official site.
If it snows you can tell your grandkids.