Hawkins Peak is one of the many volcanic peaks that over look the small town of Markleeville on Sr4. The popular Grover Hot Springs are at the base of this Mountain on the South Eastern Side. This peak is interesting to look at because the summit is a large knob made up of volcanic rock that looks like a nipple. Hawkins Peak is also one of the 10,000 ft peaks that surround Hope Valley.
This peak can be climbed from any direction but it is climbed the most from the Hope Valley area because there is less of a elevation gain than if it is climbed from the hot springs. In the summer the route to the top is easy due to the forest service road that starts where SR89 meets with SR88 which can take you within a couple hundred feet of the summit. To gain the summit it takes some class 2 scrambling to the top.
In the winter the summit is not so easy and it is a snow slog to get to the summit. In the winter it is better to not follow the service road and start from the Hope Valley Snow Park. From the snow park you head east across Hope Valley and enter the woods. Word of caution, watch out for snowmobiles the valley is a popular area. You also have to cross the West Fork of the Carson River which is just a stream to get into the woods. From the edge of the woods you will want to shoot for the long plateau between Pickets Peak and Hawkins Peak. You will lose sight of Hawkins Peak in the woods but as long as you continue to climb you will get above the tree line and be able to see the peak. You will cross the road but if you follow it, you will add miles to your trip. Once above the tree line you can see Hawkins peak and you just go for it. To gain the summit in the winter it is help full to have crampons and ice axe.
Both routes I have described have about a 3,000 ft elevation gain.
In the summer you take SR88 to where SR 89 meets and there is parking on the side of the road. In the winter you take SR88 to the Hope Valley Snow Park which is the Blue Lakes RD and park there.
In the winter you need a California Snow-Park pass to park at the Hope Valley Snow Park (Nov-May). The cost for the pass is $5 for a day and $25 for the season. It is good to get a season pass because it allows you to park at many other trail heads in the area. Places that are close by that sell them are the Shell station in Meyers and the the Kirkwood gas station. In the summer you can park for free. This peak lies in National Forest Land so a permit is not needed.
When To Climb
You can climb this peak any time of the year. In the winter it takes a lot more time and energy.
This climb can be done in a day both in Summer and Winter so camping is not necessary. There are camp sites a long SR88 and SR4. For more information on campsites in the area go to the USDA Forest Service website.
A map of the Mokelumne Wilderness is good to have even though this peak is not in the wilderness it is on the map. You can get this map from the ranger station at Carson Pass.
In the Summer lots of water.
In the winter snowshoes or skies and crampons and ice axe.