Pilot Pinnacle is a striking volcanic composite remnant along the ridge of remnant peaks that include Mt. Diller and Brokeoff Mtn. 2 miles southwest of Lassen Peak. The peaks on this ridge and Mt. Conard 3 miles to the southeast are the eroded remains of ancient Mt. Tehama a giant stratovolcano 11,000' in elevation that covered an area much larger than Lassen Peak.
This is a half day or less scramble from Highway 89. The rock is potentially brittle in places so caution is advised. It is class 3 from the west side. The Pinnacle offers outstanding views of Lassen Peak and and the other peaks in the area.
Brokeoff Mt. and Pilot Pinnacle
From the south entrance: Emerald Lake: From Interstate 5 turn east on Hwy. 36 at Red Bluff. Go 44 miles east to Hwy. 89. Turn left (north) and go 4 miles to the Lassen Park entrance. Continue another 5.4 miles to Emerald Lake on the left. Parking is on the roadside. From the north entrance: From Interstate 5 at Redding turn east and go 46 miles to Hwy 89 at the west entrance to Lassen Park. Go approximately 22 miles around and over the 8,512' pass and down to Emerald Lake and park.
Pilot Pinnacle from the 8,740' high point
From the left (south) side of Emerald Lake hike west up to the ridge to the left of Ski Heil Peak and go south. Scramble over the class 3 8,740' high point and continue on up and around the right side of Pilot Pinnacle. Scramble up the west side to an open easy summit area. The northeast ridge direct route is more challenging class 3 with loose rock. It is 2 miles round trip with approximately 1000' gain.
South from the ridge below Pilot Pinnacle
There is a fee of 10 dollars per vehicle and 5 dollars per person to enter Lassen Volcanic National Park. An annual pass can be obtained for 25$. A lifetime pass to all national parks is obtained for a mere 10$ for persons 62 or over.
When to Climb
Pilot Pinnacle from the northeast
Usually June to mid October depending on the snow fall conditions.
Pilot Pinnacle and Mt. Diller from the northwest
There are numerous campgrounds in Lassen Park. There is one at Manzanita Lake and one near the park entrance among others.
For more information click on this link: Campgrounds of Lassen Volcanic.