Mount Stanford North, named after the founder of Stanford University, is not to be confused with the (higher) Mount Stanford, named after the University itself. Both are on the Sierra Peaks list.
Mt Stanford North can be approached from almost any direction. According to Secor, class 2 routes include the east slope from Hilton Creek Lakes (route description)
, the south-west slope from Pioneer basin, or the west ridge from either Pioneer Basin or Steelhead Lake. Stanford is part of a ridge that runs from Mt Huntington to Morgan North, and can be climbed by a class 3 traverse from either peak. Most of these routes require a minimum of 10-15 miles roundtrip hiking with 4,000 – 5,000’ total elevation gain.
The trailheads to Mount Stanford out of Little Lake Valley are accessed from Rock Creek Road. The turnoff to Rock Creek is 15 miles south of the Mammoth Lakes exit on Hwy 395. Turn right at the sign for Tom’s Place/Rock Creek. The main trailhead, Hilton Lakes/Davis Lake, is on the slope above Rock Creek Lake, at about 9 miles from Hwy 395. There is also an unmarked trailhead across the road from the Pine Grove campground, some 7.5 miles from Hwy 395.
Rock Creek Road dead-ends at Mosquito Flat, some 10.5 miles from the highway.
The trailheads out of Little Lake Valley are some of the highest in the Sierra, at around 10,000’, and popular. Parking may be difficult on summer weekends.
When to Climb
Summer and Fall. Early season climbs might require skis and/or crampons.
An overview of activities in the Little Lakes Valley is given on the following page:
Little Lakes Valley
The Rock Creek Road is closed in winter at a sno-park some 7 miles from highway 395, with allowed activities including “Cross-county skiing, dog sledding, and snow play”, but not snowmobiling. See: Rock Creek Sno-Park
Current information on the Eastern Sierra can be found at the following websites:
The Sierra Web
Inyo National Forest
Regulations, permit requirements etc can be found on Holliman’s excellent page on logistics for the Eastern Sierra:
Eastern Sierra Logistical Center
Briefly, permits are required for overnight stays but not day hiking.
Trip ReportsBurd trip report
Molnar trip report
SPS trip report
Climber.org report 1
Climber.org report 2
“Leland Stanford (1824-1893), one of the “Big Four” who built the Central Pacific Railroad; governor of California and US Senator; founder of Stanford University. Named by R. B. Marshall, USGS, during the 1907-09 survey for the Mt. Goddard 30’ map.” Browning, “Place Names of the Sierra Nevada”, 1991.