HAWKINS PEAK (10,024') CLASS 2
Location: 5 miles NNW of Markleeville, CA, or 8 miles WNW of Carson Pass
Drive: Take Highway 88/89 to Picketts Junction, which is 20.2 miles west from Minden Junction (junction of U.S. 395 and Highway 88) or 11.4 miles south from Meyers Junction (west junction of U.S. 50 and Highway 89). It is also 9 miles from Carson Pass. Take the dirt road south directly from Picketts Junction, ignoring the paved road to the right signed "Do Not Enter." Proceed through the USFS gate after 0.2 mile. Follow the main dirt road "019." After 0.7 mile, take the left fork up where both forks are marked, "019." Ignore the right fork after another 0.8 mile. Ignore the forks marked, "053" after one mile, and the fork signed "19H" after another 0.8 mile. In another 0.3 mile, ignore the fork to the left. Finally, after 4.6 miles from the highway, turn left on a dirt road at a barely detectable road saddle. No signs mark this junction. Go uphill 0.3 mile to park off the road before the locked USFS gate.
Climb: Hike past the locked gate and, hiking roughly northeast, ignore the two forks to the left. After about a mile on this dirt track, come to a fork.
The right fork, the most direct, climbs up to the south slopes of the peak and turns into a rough, steep, use trail which goes to a saddle, and then climbs left (west) up the final, class 2, one hundred feet to the summit. A building and solar panel mark the top.
The left fork track goes around the north side of the peak. One leaves this track after 0.4 mile to climb cross-country up the loose, class 2, scree gully in the center of the west side of the cliffed mass that forms the peak. The summit will be close by when one tops out.
Otherwise, this left fork track curves around the north side of the peak, and comes back south to end on the east side of the peak. Continuing cross-country, one can hike south and up to a saddle where the right fork route comes from the south.
WINTER SKI ASCENT: Follow Route A, although the terrain is gentle enough everywhere to allow for a variety of routes. The final, hundred feet climb to the top is usually wind-blown snow over rock, and may be icy, class 2, climbing.
TRIP STATS: Route A, 1,600 feet gain, 2 miles one way; winter ski ascent via Route A from Picketts Junction, 3,000 feet gain, 6.7 miles one way.
Notes: Picketts Peak can
also be hiked or skied along the northwest ridge from Hawkins
Peak, with a descent on Pickett's north side. The small bump between
the two peaks may be passed on its left (southwest) side.
A long approach for Hawkins Peak starts at Grover Hot Springs State Park. A trail climbs up to Burnside Lake, from where an additional mile along the main dirt road and up right (east) on the unsigned spur leads to Route A trailhead. This would entail about 4,100 feet gain and 7-8 miles one way.