“Twelve Flags Peak” is the high point on the ridge leading northeast from Mt. Morgan
(the higher Mt. Morgan on the south
side of the Rock Creek canyon - the USGS recognizes two peaks with the same name, despite the fact that they’re just three miles apart!) It’s an enjoyable class 3 scramble from Morgan, including an easy knife edge.
As recently as July 2009, the original register was still on the summit from Chester Versteeg
’s 1942 ascent. It’s possible that this was the first ascent, though it’s never a good idea to bet against Norman Clyde
The saddle between “Twelve Flags Peak” and Morgan is only 240-320' deep by the contours on the Mt. Morgan 7.5' USGS quadrangle, but I measured it at 340' with my altimeter over a very short period of time in stable weather.
Take 395 to Tom’s Place, then turn south on Rock Creek Road and follow this to Rock Creek Lake. Turn left at the lake and drive to the parking lot on the east shore and the Tamarack Lakes Trailhead (9700'+). Climb up the Tamarack Lakes Trail for 2 miles to Kenneth Lake, then take the side trail to Francis Lake (10,840'+). From here, it’s a class 1 scramble up the drainage to the broad north slopes of Mt. Morgan
. You’ll want to stay to your right (west) on the way up these slopes if you’re climbing Morgan, but the route to “Twelve Flags Peak” follows the east side of the upper slopes toward the latter peak’s serrated west ridge (class 3).
I highly recommend R. J. Secor’s The High Sierra, Peaks Passes & Trails
(now in its third edition). This is the definitive climbing guide to the Sierra and was the source for many of the details on my SummitPost pages.
Like most places in the Sierra, you need a Wilderness Permit for overnight camping in the summer. The Tamarack Lakes trail isn’t nearly as popular as the trails heading up into Little Lakes Valley, though.
Detailed information on permits, regulations and trailhead access can be found on Matthew Holliman’s excellent Eastern Sierra logistics page
You can easily bag Mt. Morgan
, “Twelve Flags Peak” and “Wheeler Peak”
on the same trip. Climb the first two from Francis Lake (as noted above), then move your camp to lovely Dorothy Lake (10,480'+) to make it easier to access the north end of the Wheeler Ridge.