MT. LOLA (9,143') CLASS 1
Location: 6 miles N of Boreal Ridge Ski Area (I-80)
Drive: Take I-80 from the east or west to the Highway 89 North exit just east of Truckee signed "Sierraville Loyalton." Drive 14.5 miles north on Highway 89 to turn left on paved road "NF 07" signed "Jackson Meadow." Pass a OHV Staging Area near this junction. Turn left after 1.6 miles on a rough, graveled road, with a stop sign, signed "Independence Lake 5." Set your odometer here. In 100 feet, cross a small ditch on a short concrete bridge. At 0.2 mile, cross a one-lane bridge. At 0.7 mile, turn right, at a 4-way junction, on a major dirt road. Basically stay on this main dirt road. At 1.3 mile, pass a signpost "S301 SIE 39.4." Pass a sign, "Dean's Crick," at 1.7 miles. Ignore the spur roads. Pass through posted "private property," at 2.1 miles, driving slowly and obeying the signs. At 3.1 miles, pass the sign "S301 SIE 37.5." Ignore the following two spur roads to the left. At some 4.0 miles from the paved road, turn left and park at a sign, "Mt. Lola Trail." There is room for at least maybe a dozen cars.
Climb: Go past the sign "Mt Lola Trail," over a small log, to a trail left following diamond markers on trees. Take this trail up, which runs south along Cold Stream. Come to a dirt road in 1.8 miles, and go right along it. In 50 yards come to a small wooden bridge and cross it. In another 15 yards, go left at a road junction. Then, in 30-40 yards more, take the trail left, marked by diamond signs, with a "trail" sign on the back of a tree. After maybe 0.8 mile, come to the dirt road again. Go left on it, then in 40 yards go right on an unsigned trail. The dirt road that ends here might be accessed by a high clearance vehicle. Stay on the trail, which leads up to a ridge. The trail then goes right (west) along it to the summit.
Drive: From Highway 89 and "NF 07" (see Route A, Drive), follow the paved Jackson Meadow Road 9.5 miles west and turn left (south) on "86 NF" with a sign indicating "White Rock Lake 12." This is a rough, high clearance road that gets worse toward its end. Do not attempt to drive a regular passenger car on this route! After 6.7 miles, turn left at a sign, "White Rock Lake 5." Go right after another 0.8 mile, then go left after another 0.4 mile. Pass the PCT crossing after 3.2 mile more. In another 0.7 mile, go left. Some may wish to park 0.1 mile further. Descend on a rocky, tree-rooted road to the lakeshore and make two lefts to come to some primitive parking about 0.5 mile east past the lake.
Climb: Take the steep, worn, swath heading straight up the hill to the left (north), using care on the loose, rubbly, slope. About 300 feet up, the route levels somewhat, and, from here, a good trail climbs and switchbacks to the summit.
WINTER SKI ASCENT: As the dirt approach roads would not be plowed, this peak would have to be done as a long day tour or an overnight tour, following Route A. Another approach could come from the I-80, Castle Peak Sno-Park, through Castle Pass and Paradise Valley.
TRIP STATS: Route A, 2,600 feet gain, with another 100 feet gain on the return, 5 miles one way; Route B, 1,250 feet gain, 1.5 miles one way; winter ski ascent, via Route A, 2,800 feet gain, 9-10 miles one way, or, from I-80 Castle Peak Sno-Park, 2,800 feet gain, with 1,100-1,200 feet gain on the return, 7 miles one way.
Notes: The Sierra Club halted
a proposal to build a major ski resort here and at Independence
On Highway 89 north of Truckee, one passes through the site of the 1960's Donner Burn, one of the worst fires on record. It burned so hot that the topsoil was carbonized to a depth of two feet. Studies of this blaze and others may have caused the USFS to re-evaluate its then total fire suppression policy to one allowing for controlled burns, or management fires, to clear off accumulated undergrowth.