Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 36.53805°N / 117.78794°W
Additional Information County: Inyo
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 9188 ft / 2801 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Owens Lake and Olancha Peak from Cerro Gordo PeakOwens Lake and Olancha Peak from Cerro Gordo Peak
Cerro Gordo Peak is the southern most peak in the Inyo Mountains. It is easily accessible from the Cerro Gordo area. Cerro Gordo (Spanish for "Fat Hill") was a well known silver and zinc mining boom town in the 19th and early 20th century. Most of the town is a ghost town now with a few residents. The remains of the mining operation are still around and above the town site.
This is a short easy hike to a great viewpoint. To the west is the magnificient eastern scarp of the High Sierra. To the north the crest of the Inyo Range extends almost 40 miles to Waucoba Mountain. The northeastern view looks down on Saline Valley, Ubehebe Peak, and Racetrack Valley. Beyond these are the higher northern ranges of Death Valley National Park. Southeast is the Panamint and Argus Ranges and to the southwest is the vast panorama of Owens Lake topped off by hulking Olancha Peak which dominates the eastern scarp of the Southern Sierra.

Getting There

East from Cerro Gordo PeakEast from Cerro Gordo Peak
From a few miles south of Lone Pine on Hwy. 395 take Hwy. 136 east southeast 12.6 miles to Keeler. A short distance south of Keeler is a signed dirt road going east up to Cerro Gordo. High clearance 2 wheel drive is recomended but although the road gets pretty steep in places it is well graded. Take the road 7.5 miles up to the town site.
Hardrockjohn has requested you please check in with Bob or John at the town site. Use the switchback road past the microwave towers. They will be happy to show you the way and tell you about the town.
The route takes the switchback road going up to the saddle between Cerro Gordo Peak and a radio facility peak just south of the town. Go northeast at the saddle and hike the south slope to the summit.

Red Tape

High Sierra from Cerro Gordo areaHigh Sierra from Cerro Gordo area
Be sure to check in at the town site so you know the private property area. Folks live there year 'round.
There are no permits or restrictions on Bureau of Land Management property.


Cerro Gordo Town siteCerro Gordo town site
There are no established campsites in the area.
There are numerous pullouts along the lower part of the Cerro Gordo road.

Current weather conditions

Saline Valley from Cerro Gordo PeakSaline Valley from Cerro Gordo Peak
For current weather conditions in Keeler click here.

Further reading on hiking desert peaks

Racetrack Valley from Cerro Gordo PeakRacetrack Valley from Cerro Gordo Peak
Desert Summits by Andy Zdon

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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hardrockjohn - Jun 15, 2010 4:24 pm - Hasn't voted

Cerro Gordo

Please don't hike from the saddle to Cerro Gordo Peak. It is PRIVATE PROPERTY not BLM. Check in with Bob or John at the town site, then follow the only legal and safe way to reach the summet. Use the swichback road past the microwave towers. We will be happy to show you the way and tell you about our town, it covers hundreds of acres, not just the few buildings you see. Thank you, Hardrock John


Noondueler - Jun 15, 2010 8:21 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Cerro Gordo

Thanks hardrockjohn I'll update the directions to the peak to take that into account. ND

Teresa Gergen

Teresa Gergen - Jun 24, 2017 5:18 pm - Hasn't voted

Updated info

At the townsite, they now want you to sign a liability waiver, and pay a $10 fee per person.

T. White

T. White - Sep 28, 2018 11:01 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Updated info

Confirmed, per the mine's new website: "All visitors must check in with our caretaker, sign a liability waiver and pay for admission before exploring the town."

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