LOOKOUT PEAK (9,584') CLASS 2
Location: 4 miles SW of Ebbetts Pass
Drive: Take Highway 4 to the signed, "Pacific Valley Campground" road which is 6.8 miles west from Ebbetts Pass or 1.0 mile east from the signed Pacific Grade Summit. Drive 0.7 miles up the dirt road, and park at a circle, with a trailhead signboard. Facilities are available here. High clearance or 4WD vehicles can continue to the further, signed trailhead.
Climb: Follow the signed, "Rough 4WD Rd." Hike on the dirt road, along the right side of a meadow, with its barbed wire fence, for about 1 mile to another signed trailhead. Take the trail left (east) signed, "Milk Ranch Trail." Cross the creek, and climb along a creek on your right (south) side. After a couple miles, come to a minor creek crossing. Head cross-country directly north up through forested, sandy, and sagey slopes. Reach the main ridge and turn right (east) to the top.
As a variation, one can follow the trail further from the minor creek. About 0.4 mile past the minor creek, come to an easily missed, prominent, rectangular mark on a boulder. About 200 feet further, take a use trail which faintly tracks up left to the southeast ridge, across a flat meadow southeast of the summit. Rocky, class 1-2 slopes lead to the highpoint.
WINTER SKI ASCENT: Highway 4 is not plowed, but Route A would be a good route to follow. An approach from Bear Valley seems shortest.
TRIP STATS: Route A, 2,000 feet gain, 3-4 miles one way; winter ski ascent, about 1,000 feet extra gain, with at least 500' gain on the return, 11 miles extra one way from Bear Valley.
Notes: About 1984, the Sierra Club attempted to save Pacific Valley as wilderness, but the area was reserved for ski resort development. Lookout Peak (9,584') is not to be confused with Peepsight Peak (9,716'), or, the same point designated as "Lookout Peak (9,727')," indicated on the older 15' USGS map.