MT. FILLMORE (7,716') CLASS 2
Location: 10 miles ENE of La Porte, CA
Drive: From the west, take La Porte Road, which may be reached by a variety of roads (please consult a good road map), to the historic town of La Porte, CA. Continue east on the main, paved road, and in about a mile from La Porte, turn right at the excellent, paved highway, leaving the other paved road to "Little Grass Valley." This, the Quincy-La Porte Road, road leads to Quincy.
This road from Quincy may be taken if you are coming from the east. Also, with a good high clearance vehicle, one could drive to the Route A start from Johnsville near Plumas-Eureka State Park.
In 4.7 miles from the turnoff junction to Quincy with this stop sign, a signed side road, "Gibsonville Delahunty Lake 2" and "NF 900" turns right. Take this road which quickly turns to dirt. Follow the arrow to Pilot Lake Camp. Ignore the spur roads, mostly with gates. In about a mile, ignore the side road leading right to "Pilot Lake Camp," and ignore the various further spur roads. Past a primitive campsite to the right, the road gets rougher. Come to a relatively major junction after about 4 miles from the paved highway, with a sign "NF 900," and a cabin signed "Sawmill Ridge." Take the road straight ahead, or right. After another 0.5 mile or so, Mt. Fillmore will be visible on your right. The road gets narrower and steeper. There is a steep, rocky section which may defeat many vehicles. Finally, after some 5 miles from the paved highway, come to an unsigned pass with a jeep road to the right. Park off the road near the saddle, by a wide spot, or where possible.
From the east, this parking point can be reached, with high clearance or 4WD vehicles, of course, from Johnsville near Plumas-Eureka State Park. Purportedly, a good two-wheel drive vehicle can get fairly close to this point this way.
Climb: Follow the jeep road right and up about 0.2 mile, then go right at another prominent, spur, jeep road. Go left (up) at a second fork in 0.4 mile. After 0.6 mile from the start, come to a slight saddle with a small, 5 foot high bump to your right. Head left (south) here cross-country toward the peak, looking for faint use trails. In about 0.4 mile, come to some short, volcanic mud flow cliffs. These may be circumvented on the far right, or climbed directly. One good way goes around to the left a short distance. A 20 foot, class 2-3 gully leading to a tree with a S-shaped trunk at the top leads to a more distinct use trail. Follow this overgrown and faint use trail up the north ridge to the top.
WINTER SKI ASCENT: As the road past La Porte is not plowed, one would have to ski 10.5 miles one way to get to the Route A trailhead from the west, or about as far from the east. The area is heavily wooded, so a big campfire could be enjoyed with an overnight tour. This route may have to be shared with snowmobiles.
TRIP STATS: Route A, 1,160 feet gain, 1.5 miles one way; winter ski ascent, about 3,000 feet extra gain, 10.5 miles extra one way from the west.
Notes: La Porte was the site of the first skiing competition in California during the gold rush days. The town has some historic structures that may be toured in conjunction with this drive/climb. The Union Hotel, the largest building, is generally open for meals and is highly recommended. This trip is very beautiful in the fall, as the La Porte Road is lined with dogwood, maple, and other colorful trees. A large area north and east of Mt. Fillmore was once proposed by a group of the Sierra Club as "Blue Nose Wilderness." Mt. Etna (7,163'), the sharp peak across the road from Fillmore, is also worth climbing. One works along the brush up the left (north) side of the summit mass. Most peak climbers will take about a half-hour for the climb. Blue Nose Mountain, the high peak to the northnortheast, is also a good peak climb in conjunction with Mt. Fillmore.