El Dorado County High Point Trip Report

Freel Peak

Date: July 2, 2001
Author: Anthony Chan

I have noticed many hikers heading for Freel Peak taking the "standard" route from Fountain Place as described by Suttle. Although the standard route now bypasses the private property, there is an alternative which saves 3 miles and 800 feet elevation gain, but does involve more dirt driving. The route description can be found in several places, but the best is in Pete Yamagata's home page.

Here's a brief description: To get to the trailhead, start from highway 89/50 junction (Meyers junction). Travel on 89 south 9.6 miles to a dirt road on the left side, called FR051 [GPS coordinates (38 deg 47.469 min N, 119 deg 55.964 min w)]. Follow the main dirt road for 3.4 miles (bypassing numerous forks) then turn sharply left to FR051F. (There is a sign just after crossing a bridge [GPS N38.49.775 W119.54.045]). Most cars will be forced to park here due to the steep grade and severe rutting of the dirt road. There are several campsites available.

Follow the dirt road FR051F to the end (less than a mile), which becomes a large dirt clearing. This is the trailhead, which is unsigned. Look for a use trail starting near fallen logs. The use trail climbs a few hundred feet in less than a mile to join the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) at Armstrong Pass. For those looking to save some time, note that this section of TRT is open to both mountain bikers and equestrians. I would characterize the TRT section between Armstrong Pass and the base of Freel Peak as either intermediate or advanced single track for mountain bikes, due to sandy trail surface and short steep pitches. From Armstrong Pass, Suttle's description may be followed to the top of Freel Peak. For those on foot, a loop can be made by descending a use trail to a saddle between Freel Peak and Job's Sister (the use trail continues to Job's Sister and Job's Peak), down the scree to Horse Meadow, then going cross country back to the car.