Emigrant Peak and Emigrant Crag

Emigrant Peak and Emigrant Crag

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 39.18830°N / 120.2777°W
Additional Information County: Placer
Activities Activities: Hiking, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 8780 ft / 2676 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Emigrant Crag from the southeast
Emigrant Crag east side
From Emigrant Crag east side

Emigrant Peak 8,797' is a small summit along the high ridge between Squaw Peak 8,885' and Granite Chief 9,006'.  Just 140 yards to the north is Emigrant Crag at 8,774'.  While impressive looking, the crag only rises 50' or so, and it is easily climbed.  It is easy to combine with nearby peaks.  

Emigrant Crag is a ridgeline outcrop composed of stable metavolcanic rock intruded by granite. The east and west sides are class 3 in places. The north and south ends are class 4. The summit ridge is a jumble of class 3 blocks.

Despite being situated in a popular ski area, this area is stunningly beautiful.  

Appreciation is owed to Windsor Riley (aka Noondueler) who created this page, and who passed away in 2016.

Getting There

Squaw Valley
Squaw Valley

There are a couple of options.  One is Squaw Valley and the other is Five Lakes.

For Squaw Valley, from Truckee or Reno, take Interstate 80 to CA State Route 89 going south.  If approaching from Squaw Valley/Olympic Village drive 8.5 miles to Squaw Valley Road. Follow Squaw Valley Road Westward for a couple miles until just before you enter the village. Take the road left and get on Squaw Peak Road, which ends at Squaw Peak Way.  This is where you access the Shirley Canyon Trail.

For the Five Lakes Trail, it is 10 miles south of I-80 and about 1.5 miles south of the entrance to Squaw Valley. It is about 3 ½ miles north of Tahoe City if coming from Lake Tahoe. The Five Lakes Trail is about 2 miles up the road, across the street from Deer Park Drive. There are usually lots of cars on the side of the road near the trailhead. 



Watson Monument and Emigrant Crag from the north (at Emigrant Pass)
Watson Monument and Emigrant Crag

From Squaw Valley: Take the Shirley Canyon Trail about 2.5 miles up to Shirley Lake. This is a gorgeous trail with many waterfalls.  Once at Shirley Lake, take the Shirley Lake Road for one mile to the Siberia Ridge Road. Take the Siberia Ridge Road staying to the right 0.7 miles up to Emigrant Pass with the Watson Monument. Emigrant Crag is obvious a few hundred yards up to the left with a use trail going to the left or you can scramble around the right side as well. In either case look for class 3 sections going to the top along the way.  Emigrant Peak is just beyond Emigrant Crag.

From High Camp via the tram: Take the Siberia Ridge Road for one mile staying to the right up to Emigrant Pass.  This is the easier approach eliminating 7 miles and 2,000' from the hike and provides opportunity to also hike Squaw Peak and/or Granite Chief.

From Five Lakes: If taking the Five Lakes Trail, it is best to combine Emigrant Peak and Emigrant Crag with Squaw Peak.  Take the trail as it passes under KT-22.  After about 1.6 miles get off the trail and hike up to the east ridge of Squaw Peak by going off-trail for about 250 yards and gaining about 150' to reach the ridge.  From there, it is about 1 1/4 miles to the summit of Squaw Peak if using the trail/ladder route, or 1 1/2 miles if using the road.  Total elevation gain is less than 2,400' to here.  Continue for about a mile along the ridge top to Emigrant Peak and Emigrant Crag.  You probably need to re-ascend most of the way up to Squaw Peak on the return.  It is 8-8.5 miles round trip and about 3,000' of elevation gain. 

Red Tape

Granite Chief from Emigrant Crag
Granite Chief from Emigrant Crag

There are no permits required for this day hike.
For tram schedules and prices click here.

When to Climb

Squaw Peak from Emigrant Crag
Squaw Peak from Emigrant Crag

May to October are best times depending on the snow.


Toward Lake Tahoe from the Siberia Ridge Road
Looking toward Lake Tahoe from the Siberia Ridge Road

For Squaw Valley camp sites click here.

Current weather and 5 day forecast

For Squaw Valley weather and forecast click here.