Folger Peak is a (as near as I can tell) seldom-climbed peak north-northwest of Hiram Peak
in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. Its an easy climb, just a touch steep & loose near the top, but should be do-able by just about anyone. The views from its summit aren't the best in this area by any means, but its a good warmup for nearby Hiram Peak
, and is a worthwhile side trip if you're already in the area.
From I-5, take Hwy 4 east over the Pacific Grade summit, past Hermit Valley to a right-hand turn signed for Highland Lakes. From 395, take 89 west to 4 west, pass the Ebbetts Pass summit, and a few miles down, turn left on the road signed "Highland Lakes."
Take this road for several miles, continuing after it ceases to be paved and heads uphill. You will pass the northmost Highland lake, then see a junction for the east and west Highland Lake campgrounds. Drive into the western site as far west as you can and park (there should be parking near the west-most campsite).
Nothing is required to dayhike this peak (and if you need more than one day for it, find another hobby!). In summer, its quite possible that parking could be difficult to find at the campgrounds.
When To Climb
Highway 4 is closed from Lake Alpine to south of Markleeville from the first big storm of the winter until mid-May, give or take, depending on weather conditions. Unless you want a rather long trot over the snow, late spring to late fall is the best time.
Camping is allowed at the east and west Highland Lakes campsites. See here
for more information.
Check weather forecast for Bear Valley, CA to get a general idea, but conditions at Highland Lakes (and Folger Peak) will be more extreme, as its a good thousand feet higher at the trailhead.
Contributed by snwburd
"In 1866 Robert M. Folger was the proprietor of the Alpine Chronicle, the first California newspaper published east of the Sierra, at Markleeville. His brother, Andrew C. Folger, had just been appointed the first postmaster of that town. The peak is 14 miles south of the town, and 'was no doubt named for one of the brothers.' (Maule, Western Folklore 6, no. 4, Oct. 1947: 376.)" - Peter Browning, Place Names of the Sierra Nevada
I recommend combining this with nearby Hiram Peak
for a few hours of fun (it took us 5 hrs to do both at a very
leisurely pace). Folger Peak would be a good peak to introduce someone to semi-off-trail peak hiking, as its short (1 mile) and not particularly difficult.
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