Route from Otter Lake

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hike / Scramble
Time Required:
A few days
Class II

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Route from Otter Lake
Created On: Oct 3, 2003
Last Edited On: Nov 1, 2003


When approaching from Otter Lake, the closest trailheads are listed below with directions to the lake.

1) Leavitt Meadows Pack Station
Follow the West Walker River trail south until you reach the Cascade Creek trail. Follow the Cascade Creek trail until it joins the PCT. Take the PCT south until you get to Grace Meadow. At the south end of Grace Meadow, about 1.25 miles past Chitteden Peak, follow the outlet stream of Otter Lake to the west. (23 miles total) The ascent begins on the north side of the of the lake.

2) The Leavitt Lake trailhead is only accessible with an SUV with high clearance and 4-wheel drive. Leavitt Lake road is located 3.8 miles east of the Sonora Pass off of CA Hwy 108. It's 3 miles to Leavitt Lake over very rough terrain and a couple of stream crossings. Free parking is available on the north side of the lake. Follow the Leavitt Pass trail south, up and over Big Sam, for 10 miles until you reach Emigrant Pass. Take the trail SW to Bond Pass. The Pacific Crest Trail is just a mile past Bond Pass. Turn south on the PCT and hike for about 7 miles until you reach the outlet stream coming from Otter Lake. Follow the stream west until you get to the lake. (22 miles total)

* Call well in advance to reserve horse and guide if you decide to pack in with Leavitt Meadows.

Route Description

Head north from Otter Lake and follow the inlet stream for 3/4 mile. Turn to the NW and start the gradual ascent up to the saddle between Schofield and Haystack Peaks. Continue up the granite slaps heading more west past a few small meadows until you reach the top of the saddle. Once on the saddle, run the ridge for almost a mile towards the NW to the summit. The ridge and summit are topped with rocky bluffs and patches of white bark pine that require some maneuvering but it is overall a pretty easy hike.

Click here for a topo map of the route.

Start elevation: 8,907'
Summit: 10,015'
Elevation gain: 1,108'
Distance: 1 mile

Essential Gear

There is no special equipment required for this climb during the summer months except for the usual overnight backcountry camping gear.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Route from Otter Lake

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