Adams Peak Furthest North of the Sierra Peaks List

  • Updated: July 04, 2017
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

July 4th, 2017
Adams Peak (8,197')
5.75 miles, 1800'

This was the fifth and final day of our big 4th of July road trip where we visited Trinity Alps, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and Adams Peak which is the furthest north of the Sierra Peak Section list.  Writeups of the other days can be found here.

Adams is the green dot north of Reno and as you can see it's waaaay up there and kind of on it's own.  We'd originally planned to do several of the SPS peaks up here before deciding Trinity Alps and Lassen NP sounded a bit more exciting.  But this one being all by itself and not that long or challenging it made sense to grab it on the last day so it wasn't just all driving.

The area around the peak is covered in dirt roads and there were ample dispersed camping opportunities to be had.  Except we were in a slightly beat up Toyota Scion which had street tires and a distinct lack of clearance.

We tried to get near the peak the night before only to turn back about half a mile off Frenchman Lake Road because it was just too rough for the car.  For the record a high clearance non 4WD vehicle would have done just fine assuming it hadn't rained recently.

We ended spent the night in Chilcoot Campground which was really nice even if Jen did rankle at the $25 a night fee.  There was a stream running behind our site so even though it was busy you generally didn't hear anyone else.  And there were mosquitos.

This time we drove to Frenchman Lake and turned off at 24N88 and followed a track I had found on peakbagger.

The worst thing we encountered before the area that stopped us.  There was a bypass around the side of it.

Dotted yellow line was our driving route
It was a little hairy in a few places but we made it within about a mile of where we'd aimed.  The drive was a bit painful considering if we'd had the Jeep I'd have been running down the road at 40 mph vs crawling along at 5 mph but hey, gas is expensive on long trips.

It's possible some side road may have let us get closer.  We briefly went the wrong way at an earlier junction and that particular road was in beautiful shape.  After all the scrapes and close calls this weekend we decided not to push our luck and felt grateful we only had about a mile extra.

The route leaves the road at what appears to have been another road at some point but was pretty decayed now.  This became a ducked trail and passed through some meadows which had Jen squeeing in joy from all the flowers and butterflies.

For a time we ended up on a really clear dirt road with fresh tire tracks that practically ran all the way up the summit.  I'm not sure where exactly it connects with the roads we were driving on as it was heading northwest right around where we crossed the meadow but be aware there seems to be an option for just about making this peak a driveup.

We had a good use trail and we made really good time except for the long break we took at the meadow.  After days of hiking in 85+ degree heat conditions were just about ideal and we enjoyed ourselves.

The summit was a little brushy but there's a decent route if you climb the saddle between the other bump.

Up top there was the remains of an old sighting tower and a nice view of the surrounding area.  It felt more like an Hundred Peak Section peak than a Sierra Peak but that's really true of the bumps at the south end as well.

The register dated back to the 70s and had an amusing argument over the years about which bump was the actual peak.

We dallied a lot longer than we should have considering we had a long drive home but it was worth it.

Against all odds Jen's car and all of her tires survived the drive back to pavement and we headed south.  We had about a 9 hour drive ahead of us and only made it back to the car at 2 pm so we looked at options to break up the drive a bit.

We attempted to visit a few breweries in Reno but found the 4th of July festivities made that difficult.  In the end we settled for visiting Stoneyhead and doing a quick set of tasters before continuing south.

Stonyhead Brewing Co in Reno
On our way through Bridgeport we knocked off another one of those bucket list items and checked out Travertine Hot Springs.

The place was busy and we only found a small set of pools a short distance down the trail (one of which is pictured above) and another small pool right at the parking lot that we didn't even notice until we were leaving.

It was busy enough I couldn't get much in the way of decent pictures and the pools were so full we decided to just head on.

We were aiming to get to Mountain Rambler in Bishop for dinner but when we arrived it was closed for a private event.  With most of the other options in town closed as well we decided to just pull off along the way and cook.

As we were driving we kept hearing something that sounded like we were driving through rain but there was no moisture on the windshield.

Turns out it was clouds of mosquitoes we were driving through.  We found out the hard way when we pulled over and started to dig out the stove.  It was dark enough we couldn't see the mosquitoes until we realized we were being swarmed.  We hopped back in the car as quickly as we could, killed the stragglers that followed us in, and started to get a little desperate for someplace to eat.

And so dinner ended up being Carl's Junior in Lone Pine where we still ended up getting a fair number of bites over the course of dinner.  *sigh*

We arrived home at 2 am Wednesday morning after 1,680 miles, 7 successful Peakbagger entries, 1 failed summit attempt, and a long damn time spent jammed in Jen's little car.  We had just enough time to unload, shower, and get a few hours of sleep before work.

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