Mt. Tinemaha lies to the east of the Sierra Crest due east of Mt. Prater and northeast of Split Mountain (one of the California 14ers). From the summit, the views include the massive Birch Mountain to the north, the expanse of the Owens Valley from the northeast to the southeast, Split Mountain to the southwest, and an awesome view of the Sierra Crest stretching northwest to the Palisades.
The standard route (South Drainage from the East) is via Red Lake, then up a low angle drainage to a ridge. The summit is then just a short distance to the right (east). This route is simple Class 2.
In conjunction with a climb of Mt. Tinemaha, other mountains in the area to consider climbing would be Split Mountain
, Mt. Prater
, Mt. Bolton Brown
, The Thumb
, and Birch Mountain
Mt. Tinemaha is included on the Sierra Club’s Sierra Peaks Section list.
This may be the most difficult part of climbing Mt. Tinemaha. To access the Red Lake trailhead, you will need a high clearance vehicle. 4WD is probably not necessary under normal conditions, but is recommended. In addition, be prepared for scratched paint as the road is narrow and overgrown in some portions and the desert shrubs will add some nice pin-striping to your vehicle if you come into contact with them.
The usual route to drive to the Red Lake trailhead is to turn west on Crocker Street out of Big Pine off Hwy. 395. Comprehensive directions from this point can be found at climber.org
The drive from Big Pine to the trailhead will take approximately one hour.
Everything you need to know about permits and regulations can be found on the Eastern Sierra - Logistical Page
. Basically, permits are not required for day hikes. However, any overnight camping does require a permit. These are typically easy to acquire as the Red Lake trailhead does not get a lot of traffic.
When to Climb
The usual climbing season is June – October, although it may be climbed anytime during the year.
If you are climbing via the Red Lake trailhead, the best place to camp is probably Red Lake. There are established campsites here with easy access to water and great views. This is an active bear area and although bear canisters are not required (though recommended) as of the date of this writing, along with the bears, there are plenty of other critters waiting for a free meal, so protect your food accordingly.
Mt. Tinemaha was named after the Paiute chief of the same name. The name was formally proposed by Chester Versteeg in 1935.
External LinksBob Burd's Trip Report for Mt. Tinemaha.