We decided to try the Spanish Lakes OHV route, not even attempting to drive any of it but rather as the trail for our hike. This was a good decision, the road is obviously easy to follow (I read reports of other trails to Spanish Mountain being hard to follow) and the vast majority of the 5.25 road is through forest. It really felt like an extra wide trail as opposed to a road. We didn't run into any vehicles on ascent, although on descent we did come across a jeep on its way up.
From the end of the OHV road there is a use trail that follows the old road up towards Spanish, and it gets you about half way there. The rest of the route is easy cross country, best to stay below the rocky tops of the highest points on the ridge walk over. There is a boulder pile about 1/5 mile away from the summit that we tried to go over, although we did this (via going through a narrow opening between boulders) on descent we simply dropped below the boulder field which was simple.
a SPS trip. also bagged Tehipite Dome next day.
The good; the trail was mostly shady on an otherwise uncomfortably warm day. The bad; not much to see until near the summit which made up for all the trees on the way up.
I'd hoped to drive the OHV trail, but the gate was closed with a sign saying it was open July 1 to Nov 1. Not that my Ford Explorer would have made it far -- even if the downed trees from the previous winter had been removed, there were big rocks and tricky spots. I hiked the whole thing -- GPS said it was 7.6 miles with 3,660' gain, plus 190' on the return.
Nice day hike from Crown Point trailhead. A lot of cowpies on the trail.
Fun hike with friend Steve, until I got something in my eye that became downright debilitating. Trip Report
Took the standard trail (sort of) up early Sunday morning while the Gookin brothers slept. Good warm up for an amazing climb on the Obelisk later that day.
Hiked from Wishon Reservoir, climbed Spanish Mountain and camped on the ridge. The next day we descended into Tehipite Valley and hiked, climbed, swam and fished for 10 days. Incredible wilderness!
Second day of a two day outing to Tehipite Dome and Spanish Mtn. Climbed up the northeast slopes directly from Upper Geraldine Lake- needed to pick my way around near the top due to the snow. Didn't see or hear anyone else the whole trip.