El Dorado County Highpoint Trip Report

Freel Peak (10,800 ft)

Date: September 29, 2007
Author: Ron Tagliapietra

It was great to bag a Sierra cohp before the heavy snow came. There were patches of snow on the road and along the trail but it was never even an inch deep. I hiked with Dustin Veneman, a friend from church. We followed Suttle's route up Freel Peak in El Dorado County. We got off on the side path shown in his book, lost the path in brush, switched to an open forest route, and reached the trail about a half-mile before the saddle.

We returned on the trail the entire way and finished our hike in the dark by head lamp. We both wish we had descended the way we went up, since Dustin's GPS showed that spot at only 1.1 miles from the car yet Armstrong Pass at 2.8 miles from the car. Between the car and Armstrong Pass, the trail is very narrow and windy as if intended for mountain bikers. However, if you want to go to Armstrong Pass, do not cross the gate or continue up the road. If you do follow the road, we did not investigate the right hand fork, which may also get there. The trail to the right crosses a bridge almost immediately and ascends to the pass without crossing any more creeks. Suttle has it rated about right at 7 hours and 3,200 feet of gain.

For me, it was #31 in CA and #555 overall. The views of Lake Tahoe are superb.