The Sisters are located in the Mokelumne Wilderness within the Carson Pass Management Area. Located within a few miles of Highway 88, the peak can be summited any time of the year. Close proximity to Lake Tahoe, beautiful scenery, and year around access make The Sisters a popular destination.
The Sisters are made up of two summits, separated by less than a quarter mile. The higher east summit can be reached via easy class 1 terrain from the same saddle used to climb the west ridge of Round Top
. The western summit is roughly 100 feet lower than its eastern counterpart. It can be reached from the east summit via a class 1/2 traverse. Both summits can easily be climbed as a day hike, or combined with other nearby peaks, including its famous neighbor, Round Top. Compared to Round Top, The Sisters offer a better view of Lake Tahoe, a class 1 ascent, and fewer crowds.
|Trailhead||Route||Difficulty||Elevation Gain||RT Distance|
|Carson Pass||East Ridge||Class 1||1558 ft||6 miles|
|Woods Lake||East Ridge ||Class 1||1921 ft||4 miles|
(38.6951° N, 119.9895° W): Located on the south side of Highway 88, approximately 70 miles east of Jackson or 9 miles west of the the Highway 88/89 junction.
(38.6855° N, 120.0095° W): Located on the south side of Highway 88. The turn off is located approximately 1.5 miles west of Carson Pass. From the turn off it is less than a mile to the hiker's parking lot. This trailhead is not accessible in the winter.
The Sisters lie in the Carson Pass Management Area
which is subject to heavy regulation. During the summer there is a $3 fee to park at the Carson Pass or Woods Lake trailheads. A seasonal pass is available for $15. During the winter, a Sno-Park Pass
is required to park at Carson Pass. The cost is $5 for a day pass or $25 for a season pass.
Back country camping is permitted in designated sites with a permit. During the summer a permit can be obtained from the information station located at Carson Pass on a first come, first serve basis. Other times of the year permits are issued from the Amador Ranger Station.
When to Climb
Highway 88 is open year around allowing all season access to peak. The peak is generally snow free from July through September. The area is popular with hikers, backpackers, snowshoers, and skiers: do not expect solitude in any season.
Backcountry camping is permitted in designated sites at Winnemucca, Round Top, and Fourth of July Lakes.
Developed campgrounds can be found at Kirkwood Lake, Caples Lake, Woods Lake, Hope Valley, and Blue Lakes. Fees and facilites vary.
The Carson Pass area is subject to a variety of weather conditions, including heavy snowfall in the winter. Weather forcast can be found HERE
The avalanche advisory can be found HERE
External LinksBob Burd - Carson Spur to Carson Pass - April 4, 2004
Bob Burd - Round Top, The Sisters, Elephants Back - March 21, 2001
Round Top, The Sisters - February 17, 2007