South Ridge via PCT

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Half a day
Class 2

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South Ridge via PCT
Created On: Jul 7, 2007
Last Edited On: Jul 7, 2007


This route describes a direct assault from the PCT up the South Ridge, which is more a rib on the South face. While this route is direct and requires the least elevation gain of the standard routes, the final section is loose and steep. This route is primarily climbed in the spring-fall, or whenever Sonora Pass is open. Due to its proximity and ease of access, Sonora Peak sees quite a few visitors each year. The views of nearby Leavitt Peak, Stanislaus Peak, and the further Tower Peak make this hike worthwhile.

Getting There

Take Highway 108 NE from Sonora toward Sonora Pass. The road becomes very windy and steep after passing Kennedy Meadows at 6300ft. Follow the Highway all the way to Sonora Pass, park on the North side of the pass in one of the parking lots, or road side if the lots are snowed in(spring). Located the PCT, which starts just behind the bathroom on the North side of Sonora Pass. This is your starting point for this trip.

Route Description

Follow the PCT as it slowly climbs North away from Sonora Pass. After approximately 1.6miles you will reach a large bend in the trail(a switchback) at 10200ft. Above you there will be a rocky point, and a vague climbers trail will take off around the back(West) of this point. Leave the PCT by hiking straight off the switchback(rather than turning), and follow the climbers trail up around the rocks. Follow this ridge straight to the summit, avoiding the brush on the climbers left. The route becomes very loose and gravely, so watch your footing. The climbing is never more than class 2.

Essential Gear

Sturdy pair of hiking shoes, food, and water.
With the exception of a few seasonal streams no water is available on the route. See the link below for camping and fire restrictions.

External Links

California Highway 108 Conditions
Stanislaus National Forest