OverviewPeak 12,418ft is located on the Sierra Crest between Red and White Mountain and Red Slate Mountain in the John Muir Wilderness. The beautiful and rugged Mcgee Creek and Pass Trail offers a great transition from desert to high above treeline in a alpine setting. This area is quite busy in the summertime. There is a pack station at the trailhead that offers pack and saddle options for those who may want horses. The trail itself is a great one that gradually climbs up 3,250ft+ and six miles from the trailhead to Big McGee Lake. The trail continues up past Big and Little McGee Lakes for another three miles, cutting into a corridor with a permanent snowfield winding up to McGee Pass and the Mono/Fresno county line. This trail continues back down into the valley where Fish Creek and Tully Hole lie. This area with its tall peaks with vibrant coloration of red and white and black along with ample lakes, ponds, and streams make the McGee area one of the most beautiful gems of the Eastern Sierra.
Trailhead LocationCalifornia US395 South of Mammoth Lakes and just North Of Crowley Lake to the well-marked McGee Creek exit, heading Southwest. This exit is about 20 miles south of HWY 203 and the town of Mammoth Lakes. Take the road up to the trailhead, about three miles, the last part unpaved but easily negotiable by passenger vehicles.
Red TapeAs for most Wilderness areas, visitors must pick up a wilderness permit before entering the John Muir Wilderness. Go to the ranger station in Mammoth Lakes for your permit. You can visit the Inyo National forest website for additional information on regulations and area quotas.
Everything you need to know about conditions, permits and regulations can be found on the Eastern Sierra - Logisitcal Center page.
CampingThere are several lakes and streams along the trail that have places to camp. Please use a existing campsite and try to have a minimal impact on the area.
Due to the fact that this trail has been frequented by pack and saddle trains over the last 30+ years, I recommend filtering all water and be careful selecting your source.
Gear EssentialsDepending on the time of year you should always have the essentials of water, food, clothing, shelter, and navigation. Check the weather and have a good idea on what to expect. Be aware that weather in any large mountain range, especially the Sierra Nevada can change rapidly for the better or worse.Know before you go to avoid unpleasant moments.
Depending on the route up the mountain, your gear will vary. For the North Ridge, Please see the North Ridge page.