Homers Nose

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
California, United States, North America
Elevation:
9023 ft / 2750 m
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Homers Nose
Created On: Sep 2, 2005
Last Edited On: Jan 12, 2006

Overview


Homers Nose is a very infrequently visited and remote peak in the Sequoia National Park. The peak sees about 3-4 parties a year. Although the peak itself is not a hard climb, it is well known among Sierra Club circles for its long, arduous, brush-heavy approaches.

All routes involve significant cross country travel, and only experienced hikers with good navigational skills should attempt it. In jest, it has been labeled "extreme class 1," or "1.11d" by its easiest routes. Regardless, it is a fine peak with nice hiking along forested slopes.

There are some fine technical routes that have been pioneered on the Nose's sheer faces. These are published in Vernon, Moser and Hickey's Southern Sierra Rock Climbing: Sequoia/Kings Canyon

The views from the summit span far and wide all the way down to the Central Valley.

Getting There


Homer’s Nose can be approached via 3 different routes:

1. South Fork Kaweah River: 15 miles, 6,500' gain RT

Take Hwy 99 north towards Bakersfield. Pass through Bakersfield and continue on towards Visalia. Exit east on Hwy 198 into Visalia. Continue through the city on the 198. Once the freeway ends, there are a couple of flashing lights so you don't drive through the stop signs in the dense fog. Continue heading out of town on the 198 past Hwy 245. As soon as you pass the Three Rivers golf course, head right on South Fork Drive. Follow this road along the S Fork of the Kaweah River for about 13 miles to the end. The Ladybug trailhead for Homer’s Nose continues up-canyon from the parking area. For map-points and more detail, check out

2. Mineral King Approach: 38 mi, 6,200’ RT

Take Hwy 99 north towards Bakersfield. Pass through Bakersfield and continue on towards Visalia. Exit east on Hwy 198 into Visalia. Stay on Hwy 198 as it climbs into the Sierra foothills and passes Lake Kaweah and the town of Three Rivers. Shortly after passing through Three Rivers take the right hand turn to Mineral King. This very slow and winding road will bring you to Mineral King in about an hour. From the Cold Springs Campground, the Tar Gap Trail leads to Hockett Meadows.

3. Case Mountain Route:

This route involves passing through private property and BLM land. See Ron Hudson’ report and Mark Adrian’s report

Red Tape


Permits are required for all overnight camping. Backcountry permits are free, first come first served. Reservations cost $15, regardless of party size. There are a few campgrounds in Mineral King that are $15/night: Cold Springs and Atwell Mill.

When To Climb


May through October. The winter months see snow, however, a winter approach is certainly possible. To my knowledge, there has been none so far. Mosquitoes are the largest concern in early-mid summer.

Camping


Permits are required for all overnight camping. Backcountry permits are free, first come first served. Reservations cost $15, regardless of party size. There are a few campgrounds in Mineral King that are $12/night: Cold Springs and Atwell Mill.



Mountain Conditions


The NWS Forecast is the most reliable source of weather information for the Sierra.

Critters


Warning: MARMOTS!!!

Mineral King is notorious for marmots eating rubber hoses and/or wiring on your vehicles. They can disable a vehicle. They will also get under your hood. We will need to check under our hoods before driving off. I have heard of two ways to protect against marmot damage.

1. bring chicken wire and fence it around your car.
2. another method is to buy a large plastic tarp, put it under your vehicle, then tie it up around your car with rope or wire.

The marmot problem is most severe in spring, between May and June or so. Your best bet is to contact the rangers at Mineral King for current conditions.

I have also heard of instances where marmots have gnawed on thermarest pads and sleeping pads, so consider keeping these items safe if you plan on backpacking and heading off for a dayhike leaving your stuff behind.

External Links

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Desert Solitaire

Desert Solitaire - Sep 5, 2005 2:55 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

Hi Bob,





Thanks for the input. I'm still working on gathering information and updating the page with all the routes to the peak. Personally, I have only climbed the mountain via the Mineral King route, hence it making the first appearance. The page is still under construction though, and I intend to add more info in the near future. Thanks again for all your help!!! : ]





Jeff

Bob Burd

Bob Burd - Sep 8, 2005 12:56 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

Funny, I didn't realize it was you until you replied about the margaritas. I figured you were just another lame-ass putting up nonsense about Sierra peaks. Good thing I wasn't thinking anything mean about you... :-)

Desert Solitaire

Desert Solitaire - Jan 10, 2006 7:42 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

Thanks for the update Carol -- I'll make the changes to the page.





Happy Trails,


Jeff

Bob Burd

Bob Burd - Sep 3, 2005 1:52 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

How is Mineral King the easiest approach? It seems like more than 12 miles one way from Mineral King, yet only about 3-4 miles from the South Fork Ranger Station/Campground. Having never been there I don't what the conditions are like between the two routes, so hope you can fill us in.

Desert Solitaire

Desert Solitaire - Sep 5, 2005 2:55 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

Hi Bob,





Thanks for the input. I'm still working on gathering information and updating the page with all the routes to the peak. Personally, I have only climbed the mountain via the Mineral King route, hence it making the first appearance. The page is still under construction though, and I intend to add more info in the near future. Thanks again for all your help!!! : ]





Jeff

Bob Burd

Bob Burd - Sep 8, 2005 12:56 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

Funny, I didn't realize it was you until you replied about the margaritas. I figured you were just another lame-ass putting up nonsense about Sierra peaks. Good thing I wasn't thinking anything mean about you... :-)

tarol

tarol - Jan 9, 2006 4:38 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

The fee for a wilderness permit is now $15.

Desert Solitaire

Desert Solitaire - Jan 10, 2006 7:42 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

Thanks for the update Carol -- I'll make the changes to the page.





Happy Trails,


Jeff

BobD3

BobD3 - Apr 19, 2014 1:22 pm - Hasn't voted

Case Mtn. route

March, 2014

Tried going up the Case Mtn. route. Was immediately greeted by some young locals in a jeep coming down from the other side of the first locked gate who (politely) advised to not hike into private property.

2 other local climbers I had just met said pot growers are a problem in this area. They also advised against leaving a vehicle parked here overnight due to break-ins. That was enough for me. I abandoned the attempt. Just fyi.

jdmorris

jdmorris - Nov 6, 2014 8:18 pm - Hasn't voted

Case Mtn. route addition

I "heard" from "someone" who climbed Homer's Nose from the Kaweah River route mentioned here as the 'Case Mountain Route' in late 2014 and wanted to add one update not mentioned in the linked reports. There were at least 6, perhaps closer to 10 gates and fences almost all very clearly posted 'No Trespassing' that this "someone" chose to pass through using the described route. I've personally done the approach from the South Fork TH to Salt Creek Ridge and rather enjoyed it in the way only a obscure-peak bagger could, easily avoiding poison oak and avoiding trespassing, although there was lots more bushwacking and route finding to be done. Given how much blatant trespassing was involved, I would highly recommend the South Fork route, instead.

czaplick

czaplick - May 13, 2015 10:26 pm - Hasn't voted

Another Case Mt. Route addition

For those who are looking for the compromise of 100% legal, no worries about your car being broken in to, and no bushwacking, there's access to Case Mt. Grove from Salt Creek via a BLM easement on Skyline in Three Rivers: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bakersfield/Programs/sequoias/home/case_mountain.html

Round trip stats would be closer to 30miles with an extra 1000' of gain from Oak Grove, but BLM is looking to purchase the land around Craig's Ranch Rd, which would shave off a couple miles and 600' of gain:

http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/ca/pdf/bakersfield/NEPA/2013.Par.48397.File.dat/CaseMountainAcquisitionScoping.pdf

bobpickering

bobpickering - Jun 8, 2018 1:59 pm - Hasn't voted

May 2018 Update

It’s been a while since anybody posted much about Homers Nose, so I thought I would add a few words about the South Fork Kaweah River approach as of May 2018.



The road to the trailhead is paved but rough most of the way. The last 3+ miles are dirt. SEKI says “Cars with low clearance are not recommended,” but I didn’t have any trouble in my Acura RSX (basically an upscale 2005 Honda Civic). Just drive slowly.



There was no water at the campground, and I suspect that the water system has been “decommissioned.” The campground is free when the water isn’t operational. The campground has one vault toilet and the usual primitive amenities, including large bear boxes in good condition. There is also a good bear box at the trailhead.



Everybody seems to know about Steve Eckert’s trip report and GPS track. Like most, I tried to follow it. I was just learning to use a GPS, and I foolishly followed what I thought were the recent tracks of other climbers. I wasted hours thrashing around in impenetrable brush before I found the trail at MANZMD. The trail is overgrown but easy to follow from SURPRS to well past MANZSE on the way out. It is crucial to find this trail on the way in. The rest of the route is less critical; there seem to be many similarly unpleasant choices.



There was poison oak everywhere low on the route near Pigeon Creek. Most of it was knee-high, but a few bushes were taller than I am. It petered out around BRUSHY or SHOLDR. I wore long pants, long sleeves, and gloves, and I changed clothes and washed up as soon as I got back to the trailhead. I’m not very allergic, and I never got a rash or blisters. The poison oak could be a serious hazard if you are more allergic.



There was no snow, but there was plenty of water at SURPRS. I didn’t see any decent campsites. There were a few trickles of water higher up.



This route is a real slog, but definitely doable in a day. And you don’t have to worry about getting shot or arrested for trespassing.

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