Robinson Peak is a lesser known summit in the Hoover Wilderness along the Sawmill Ridge. It is located 1½ miles south of Eagle Peak 11,845’. If doing a long all day hike, it can be climbed after Eagle Peak, or can be climbed should you choose to camp high up in the Hoover Wilderness, and want to bag the peaks accessible along the Sawmill Ridge and further west into the Hoover Wilderness.
Robinson Peak offers direct views of the Sawtooth Ridge to the south as well as several peaks in the immediate vicinity, such as Victoria Peak 11.683' and Hunewill Peak 11,713'. Reaching the summit of Robinson Peak can be done via a long day hike from the Buckeye Trailhead at the Buckeye Campground at about 7220’. Or via a shorter, steeper, route from Twin Lakes Road. Both routes will probably take over 6 hours round trip.
Heading up the East face of Robinson Peak
Twin Lakes Road route
Take Twin Lakes Road from Bridgeport for about 10 miles. Before you see the first of the Twin Lakes, there is a sign for an RV park at the Twin Lakes Resort. Park at the north end of the circle beyond the buildings.
The trailhead for the longer hike starts at the Buckeye Campground, which can be accessed from Twin Lakes Road in Bridgeport off of 395. Follow Twin Lakes Road for several miles and watch for the signs for Doc 'N' Al's resort. At the turn of there is sign heading to Buckeye Campground. The road soon turns into dirt, but can easily be driven by a 2WD. Most of the dirt section gets a "1" rating, although your car may shake at points.
Just before the campground is a concrete bridge, on the left. Cross this and drive through the campground. If you wish to camp, head to campground site #60 and see the camp host or simply find a camp site with open space, and fill out a form for that campsite and pay. If only doing a day hike, park at the Buckeye Trailhead towards the back of the campground.
Twin Lakes Road route
The shorter route starts at about 7,130'. There is an obvious road heading up in between two ridges leading up to the Sawmill Ridge. The road starts just to the west and continues up between the two south facing ridges. There are two options. Either continue up the road until it becomes a trail, or scramble up to the ridge on the right. The trail winds up the left side, reaching the top of the ridge in about 2 1/2 miles, at which point Robinson Peak is less than 1 3/4 miles.
If scrambling up the ridge on the right, you will encounter brush, which can be thick. However, there are sufficient animal trails to wind through it and up to the steep ridge, which is pretty straightforward. In about 2 1/4 miles, you reach the top of the ridge from the trailhead after gaining about 3,000'. Robinson Peak is less than 2 miles away.
Heading up the Sawmill Ridge from Twin Lakes Road
Once at the top of the ridge, follow it for a couple miles to Robinson Peak. The final ascent is about 600' up the east face. For either route, it is about 8 1/2 miles round trip, with 3,900' of elevation gain one way to the summit. This is a good way to combo with Sawmill Ridge Peak 10,325', adding very little to the trip (maybe 1/2 mile total and 350' of gain). Eagle Peak can also be added, but make sure to give yourself plenty of time and plenty of water.
The longer route to Robinson Peak is via the Eagle Creek Trail. From the trailhead walk straight up the road and walk through a gate at the end of the campground. After another few hundred feet is a second gate. Walk through this gate and a couple hundred yards later is a sign on the left to Eagle Creek. Take this trail as it heads east, but soon curves back around to the west. The trail is basically an old road which continues through the forest on the right side of the creek. After about 1½ miles from the trail sign you reach the end of the road. There is a trail marker pointing to the right.
The trail continues west along the Eagle Creek and eventually the higher mountains come into view. Initially Peak 10401 comes into view. This is the peak just east of Robinson Peak along the Sawmill Ridge.
Looking up at Eagle Peak 11,845'along the trail
The trail continues up moderately steep as it climbs between the Sawmill Ridge to the south and the Buckeye Ridge to the north. After about 5 miles up the trail, it starts to peter out somewhat and becomes harder to follow. At this point, however, the route it pretty open and it is easy to tell which direction to go. Once the trail becomes clear again, you will see a connecting ridge on your left heading to Peak 10401 and the Eagle Creek on your left as well. Continue up the trail past the connecting ridge, and stay on the right side of the Eagle Creek. Soon you will see Robinson Peak come into full view on the left. Head to the east face.
The total hiking distance from the Buckeye Trailhead is between 13 and 13 1/2 miles round trip, depending on where you start the ascent up the summit block. The elevation gain is about 3600 feet.
If climbing Eagle Peak, Robinson is easily accessed on the return from Eagle via its west face adding about 1 1/2 miles overall. Keep in mind this combination is an extraordinarily long day (16 1/2 miles and 5,300' of elevation gain from the trailhead). If doing a combination hike, it might be wise to camp higher up in the forest.
There is no red tape to deal with and no permits required. For the shorter route, we parked just north of the RV park, and didn't have any issues.
There is a fee should you choose to camp at the Buckeye Campground. However, there is also a trailhead nearby the end of the road that a person can park during the day and hike. If planning to do a longer hike in the area, it is recommended you camp at Buckeye Campground. There are 67 camp sites to choose from with space for three or four cars each.