Calaveras County High Point Trip Report

Corral Ridge (8170 ft)

Date: March 31, 2001
Author: Peter Maurer

Corral Ridge, a rather nondescript highpoint on the eastern county line of Calaveras Co., would have been uneventful, except for the chance to do it over the snow. With perfect spring skiing conditions, the 1000 ft elevation gain and 6 mile round trip would have been a perfect cross country ski trip, but one of our party has bum knees, so we opted for snowshoes instead. With temps in the 60's & 70's, we even did it in shorts!

Contrary to the guidebook's direction, the trailhead is just east of the Calaveras/Alpine county line, probably less than a tenth of a mile. There is a small forest service sign with a jeep symbol. The trail winds up through a predominantly red fir forest, following the creek. With snow on the ground, the jeep trail got lost at times, and often we found ourselves winding through tightly packed new growth. After a mile or more the route breaks out into a large bowl, popular with snowmobilers (fortunately for us who prefer peace and quite while hiking, there were none that day) and would be a great place to practice one's telemark turns. Angle across the bowl towards the north west to reach the saddle, which overlooks the back side of Mt. Reba Ski resort. From there it's a gentle stroll along the crest of a large canyon, with fine views to the north across the Mokelumne River canyon and to the southeast with the high peaks of northern Yosemite/Emigrant Wilderness visible (including Alpine's HP, Sonora Peak.)

The summit was windswept clear of snow, with a cairn built on top of a glacial erratic signifying the unsurveyed highpoint. After a relaxing lunch and soaking up some rays, it was a quick downhill return.