Mount Perkins is an SPS list peak on the Sierra crest between Sawmill and Taboose Passes. It can be accessed from either of these two passes, or from Armstrong Canyon.
There are three options, in order of distance and difficulty:
1) Drive as far as you can up Armstrong Canyon (usually till about 8,300 ft) and hike the canyon to the base of the Eastern aspect of Mount Perkins.
2) Hike up Sawmill Pass, contour North at the 11,000 feet level to reach Colosseum Col, and continue on to the lake basin immediately West of Mount Perkins.
3) Hike up Taboose Pass, then Pinchot Pass, and drop into the lake basin immediately West of Mount Perkins.
Another convenient option would be to tag Mount Perkins from the West as a side trip while hiking on the John Muir Trail.
All the routes up Mount Perkins are class 2:
1) The North ridge from Armstrong Canyon.
2) The South ridge from Armstrong Col (this col is reached from Armstrong Canyon, by climbing the chute at its head).
3) The West Slope from the lake basin located between the JMT and Mount Perkins, on the West side of the Sierra Crest. There are many options but the most straightforward is to start a bit South of where the summit is, angle left up the West face to join a broad gully, from which the summit can easily be reached.
A traverse to Perkins from Colosseum or vice versa would be class 3-4. See Bob Burd’s report below for details.
Wilderness permits are required for any overnight stay in the Inyo National Forest or Kings Canyon National Park.
Anytime, but an approach in the Winter would be more involved.
There are nice campsites in the lake basin West of Mount Perkins