From the trail head at Carson Pass head south on the Pacific Crest Trail for about 3 miles. The trail passes Frog Lake (probably will not see it behind a small rise) and then contours along the base of Elephants Back and gently rises to Winnemucca Lake. From here the trail turns west and rises up toward Round Top Lake. As the trail crests a ridge and Round Top Lake comes into view it is time to turn left and start your main ascent.
An approach can also be made from Woods Lake off S.R. 88. From the parking area head up the Winnemucca Lake trail for 1.5 miles to the lake and its junction with the trail from Carson Pass. Turn right (west) and follow the trail toward Round Top Lake.
There is another trail on the west side of Woods Lake that takes you directly to Round Top Lake.
From the approach trail there are a couple of climbers trails. One goes over the small rise headed southeast and one skirts around it. Once around this small hillock there is a large open scree slope. There is often a large snow field here even well into summer. Be carefull near the middle of the snow field as there is a snow melt stream nder the snow there. Head up this slope toward a saddle between Round Top and The Sisters, a set of craggy volcanic peaks right above Round Top Lake. Once the saddle is gained the fun begins. From here a little route finding is in order and one can pick their own line to the summit. The best route is a little to the right of the main ridge. The slope is about 30 degrees just before reaching the west side of the summit crags. There are two summits: west and east. The east summit is the high point. Climb class 2-3 rock to west summit, then descend to the gap between the two. Traverse around the east summit then climb it from the SE side.
For a summer time climb some good sturdy foot wear is all that is needed. If a winter climb is in your plans. Cross Country skis or snow shoes are in order for the approach with crampons and ice axe for the summit. The glissade down to the northeast towards Winnemucca Lake from the saddle is great if the snow isn't too soft.
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