Eagle Peak is the high point on the Buckeye Ridge just southwest of Bridgeport, California. Although not quite as tall as nearby Dunderberg Peak or the Sawtooth Ridge peaks, it is still one of the many worthy peaks in the area. As a stand-alone peak, the views are quite good, and this peak is not often ascended, so a run-in with other tourists is unlikely, and a bit of solitude is more probable. On my last ascent of the peak, I saw no one after I left the campground at the trailhead outside of a sow bear and her yearling cub. Oh yeah, and some mangy cattle.
The trailhead is at the Buckeye Campground. To arrive here from the north on 395, watch for the left turn about 3 miles before Bridgeport. The road is dirt, in fair condition (no high clearance required), but with lots of washboard. Follow the signs to the Buckeye Campground. The road contours the mountainside above Bridgeport Valley, and then enters the Buckeye Creek drainage. When you reach a major intersection, bear right and continue
up canyon. You should soon cross Buckeye Creek on a nice new concrete bridge. If you cross on a wooden bridge, turn around and retrace your track for a 1/4 mile or so, and look for the road to continue up canyon.
If you are arriving from the south, drive through to the west side of Bridgeport and take the left turn on Twin Lakes Road. Follow this up until you pass a small subdivision on the right, and watch for the signs for Doc 'N' Al's resort. Turn off here (to the right), but don't pull into the resort. Continue up the road, cross Robinson Creek on a wooden bridge, and the road will soon turn to dirt. Carry on, the road runs uphill and contours the sidehill to enter the Buckeye drainage. As soon as you cross Buckeye Creek on a wooden bridge, watch for the left turn towards Buckeye Campground. You will soon cross the concrete bridge, your clue that you are in the right place.
Soon after crossing the concrete bridge you will reach Buckeye Campground. Drive most of the way through the campground, past the tent camping only area, and watch for a wilderness information billboard on the left. Turn in here. There is ample free parking, but this is a day-use only area. Don't camp here unless you want a hassle. If you wish to camp, you could pay the $13 dollars or so for a site at Buckeye, or you could pull off the dirt road almost anywhere along the way and camp for free (preferred option).
There is no red tape to deal with. No permits required, no parking hassle, no parking permit, no seasonal closures (well, they don't clear snow from the Buckeye Creek Road, but if you can find a way up there, you're free to go), and no parking pass required.
When To Climb
Spring, summer, and fall are the best times to climb. During the winter, as mentioned before, the approach could be quite long. The ski descents would be epic if you made it in there.
Aside from the camping mentioned above in the "Getting there" section, There are pay campgrounds at Mono Village
at the end of Twin Lakes Road, as well as the Paha Campground
, Robinson Creek Campground
, and numerous other pay campgrounds along the way to Twin Lakes.
here. There are no cams that I am aware of. The Bridgeport
has a site here, or you may call them at 760-932-7070.
Local Hot Springs
There are a couple of undeveloped hot springs in the area. The closest is on the Buckeye Road on the north side of the wooden bridge that crosses Buckeye Creek. Parking is a dirt pull-out just north of and adjacent to the bridge, with a use trail leading down to the pools.
The other is just east of Bridgeport. Exit 395 south of Bridgeport on Jack Sawyer Road, go past the County Maintenance Yard onto the first dirt road you come to (before you get to the Cal-Trans yard). Follow this to the end and there are some fairly nice mostly undeveloped pools.
GasolineCaution -- Extremely high fuel prices in Bridgeport!
Unreasonably high fuel prices
in Bridgeport motivated me to add this section. There are 2 filling stations in Bridgeport, and both are owned by the same shyster. The fuel prices are often a dollar or more per gallon higher than surrounding areas. With this in mind, I want to recommend to everyone using a trailhead in the Bridgeport area to fill up well before you arrive.
If arriving from the north, fill up in Minden/Gardnerville, or next best, at Topaz Lake. Coming in over Tioga, Lee Vining is also expensive, but (slightly) less than Bridgeport. From the south, Bishop is the best bet, but Mammoth is 40 - 50 cents per gallon less than Bridgeport. Coming over Sonora Pass, I guess you're out of luck unless you buy enough in Sonora to get over and back.
If you for some reason do find yourself in need of fuel in the Bridgeport area, Mono Village (at Upper Twin Lake) has fuel for 20-30 cents cheaper than in town.
While the fuel prices are a rip-off, other merchants in town are more reasonable, especially restaurants.