Rad Peak is located on an Eastern spur of the Great Western Divide near Mineral King. It has a commanding 360 view that includes landmarks like Olancha, Whitney, the Kaweah Peaks, Sawtooth and the beautiful lakes and valleys below. Though it is not a well known peak and sits lower than some of it's more conspicuous and famous neighbors, Rad Peak actually has the 5th highest prominence on the Great Western Divide, coming in at 1,320 feet.
From Mineral King the most direct approach is to go to Crystal or Monarch Lakes and over the pass to Amphitheater Lake. Then cross country through the beautiful and remote Soda Creek drainage towards Little Claire Lake. From the ridge near Little Claire lake the peak can be seen through the trees to the East.
A slightly longer and more circuitous, but on trail, route is to take the trail past Franklin Lake, over Franklin pass and down the Rattlesnake Creek trail until branching off towards Little Claire Lake and the pass above it.
East Ridge: Class 1 or 2 from the pass above Little Clare Lake. Follow the rocky ridge or sandy slopes below for about a mile and 1,300 ft of gain to a little bit of scrambling up to the summit block.
Must pay $20 park entrance fee unless you have the annual pass. Overnight permits are $15 and can be obtained at the ranger station near the trailhead if you're not planning on a day hike. Some of the trailheads are popular so get early walk-ins or make reservations.
When to Climb
The east ridge is climbable all year but the Mineral King Road is usually closed from the end of October until Memorial Day weekend at the end of May. If you want to ski, hike or snowmobile the road it is allowed.
Several first come first served campgrounds exist in Mineral King Valley and you won't see many people around Rad Peak once you get over the passes and East of the Great Western Divide.