While Mokelumne Peak stands much lower than its neighbors in the Mokelumne Wilderness
, it makes up for the lack of height in vistas. The peak is situated in the southwest portion of the 105,165 acre Mokelumne Wilderness area, about 15 miles west of the Sierra Crest. It rises dramatically (about 4,500 feet) above the North Fork of the Mokelumne River and commands views of the Desolation Wilderness, Round Top, Highland Peak Area and the Carson Iceberg Wilderness. On clear days, the costal ranges, including Mt. Diablo are clearly visible. What it lacks in approaches, the summit views compensate.
Mokelumne Peak can be climbed by either the northwest or northeast ridges. Both are rather easy class 2 hiking. Due to the relative remoteness of the peak, it sees only a few dozen ascents per year (at least as evidenced by the summit register). The most common and quickest approach is from the Tanglefoot trailhead located to the southwest. The peak can also be approached from the Silver Lake area or from the Mt. Reba vicinty off Hwy 4. All approaches to the peak are somewhat long, and will involve several miles of off-trail hiking. Winter attempts are possible, but most, if not all forest service roads are closed, making for exceptionally long approaches.
Mokelumne Peak is listed on the Sierra Club SPS List.
Getting ThereMokelumne Peak can be accessed by at least three different routes. The shortest being from the Tanglefoot Trailhead located near the Bear River Reservoir and the longest from Mt. Reba.
Tanglefoot Approach Detail
The approach from the Tanglefoot Trailhead begins near the Bear River Reservoir off Hwy 88, approximately 37 miles past Jackson and 7 miles west from the Mormon Emigrant Trail.
- Take the Bear River Reservoir exit and head downhill and cross over the dam.
- Continue on this paved road, passing the South Shore and Pardoes Point campgrounds.
- After 4.25 miles on this road, take the first left turn at Forest Service road 8N14 (still paved). Follow signs to the Bear River Group and Cole Creek Campgrounds.
- Stay on this road for another 5.7 miles. Signs begin to note distances to the Tanglefoot Trailhead.
- Following the signs to Tanglefoot, turn left and cross two good bridges over Cole Creek. A dirt road continues to the trailhead, another 3.8 miles.
- Follow the obvious main road, ignoring all spur routes. Just before the trailhead (3.6 miles or so), the road forks to the left and right. Continue left on 8N14E. The right turn on 8N14, is incorrect.
- There is room at the trailhead for perhaps six or seven cars.
Plasse's Resort Approach Detail
The approach from Plasse's Resort begins near Silver Lake, also off Hwy 88, approximately 49 miles past Jackson and 5.5 miles east from the Mormon Emigrant Trail. Not having approached the peak from this area, these directions may not be precise. The exit to the Plasse's Resort is on the south side of Hwy 88. Park as close to the Stockton Municipal Camp as possible. The trail is on the southeast side of the valley.
Mt. Reba Approach Detail
From the town of Angels Camp on Hwy 49, turn east on Hwy 4. Travel about 47 miles to the Bear Valley Ski Resort, just before Lake Alpine. Turn north onto the road to the ski resort. After almost .25 mile, turn right (east) onto a spur road and continue to the trailhead. Again, as I have not hiked the peak from this area, directions may be imprecise. This approach is for the truly sadistic dayhiker. The round trip distance is about 25 miles, the total elevation gain (going up the Mokelumne River canyon twice) is a whopping 7,300 feet.
Permits are not required for day hikes in any season. Overnight trips do require a wilderness permit. Permits can be obtained in person at the Amador Ranger District or the Carson Pass Information Station. More information can be found at the Eldorado National Forest- Mokelumne Wilderness
You must have a campfire permit to use a stove, lantern, charcoal BBQ, or wood campfire outside of a developed campground or recreation area.
When To Climb
Due to the relative remoteness, Mokelumne Peak is most frequently climbed in the summer. It can however be climbed year round.
There are numerous Forest Service campsites in the area, most of which charge a nominal fee. Please visit the Eldorado National Forest
website for more information.
There are also several private resorts in the area that have more developed accommodations.
For current conditions and information call the:Eldorado National Forest
100 Forni Road
Placerville, CA 95667
that avalanches can be a distinct possibility after winter storms. Please check the Central Sierra Snow Advisory
before leaving on any backcountry ski or snowshoe trip.