About 1 mile southeast of Mount Darwin lies the beautiful pointed summit of Mount Haeckel. This mountain can easily be seen from Hwy. 168 on the way to Lake Sabrina. While not a difficult mountain compared to some, it has several fine moderate routes including the North Face ( class 4, snow / ice ), the North Couloir ( class 4, 800' of up to 50 degree snow / ice ) and the 100 Classics route the Northwest Arete ( class 4 ). Several other class 3 routes lead to the summit. This is one of the most prominent peaks in the Evolution region of the High Sierra!
Please see the following guide books - The High Sierra - Peaks, Passes and Trails by R. J. Secor and Sierra Classics - 100 Best Climbs in the High Sierra, by John Moynier and Claude Fiddler for information.
From Bishop, Ca., take highway 168 west to the lake Sabrina trailhead. Cross country hiking from Sailor Lake takes one past Moonlight Lake to Echo Lake for those interested in the class 3 South Ridge. For those climbers interested in the routes on the north side, continue up Bishop Creek to either Midnight Lake or to the scenic Hungry Packer Lake. It's about 8 miles in either way you choose.
The maps for this area are the Mt. Darwin and Mt. Thompson 7.5 minute USGS quadranges.
Wilderness permits are required for overnight camping. There is a wilderness permit quota in effect from May 1st to November 1st. 60% of the wilderness permit quota is advance reservation ( $5.00 per person ) and 40% is available on a walk in first come first serve basis ( free ). See the Inyo National Forest website at http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/inyo/ for the most current information.
Inyo National Forest - Wilderness Permit Office - 873 North Main Street, Bishop, CA 93514
Reservation Line - 760 - 873 - 2483
Wilderness Permit Fax Line 760 - 873 - 2484
Wilderness Information - 760 - 873 - 2485
For the ice routes, the best time to climb is probably July - October ( will vary due to seasonal snow fall ). For other routes, June - September.
There is excellent wilderness camping in the entire Bishop creek drainage. Wilderness permits are required - see the Inyo National Forest web site and the Red Tape section above for more information. There are also numerous car camping sites available ( fee required ).
For general conditions and weather, see the Inyo National Forest website at http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/inyo/ . Also, www.395.com has good information regarding the area and local hotel accomodations.