Modoc County Highpoint Trip Report

Eagle Peak

Date: September 10, 2005
Author: Ken Jones

For a shorter hike (mileage-wise, though it's about the same gain), you can drive around and visit this one from the east. The hike this way is about 12 miles and 4200 feet of gain.

From Eagleville on state route 166, head south about 1.3 miles to where the highway bends toward the east. Continue straight ahead on the Emerson Creek road (county route 40) and follow it to its end in 4 to 5 miles at Emerson campground (USFS). The trailhead and register is at the upper end of the campground, on the east side of the creek.

Two trails begin here. You want the North Emerson Trail, which is back on the west side of the creek (easy rock crossing as of the date of this report). The more obvious South Emerson Trail will get you there but it's longer and more gain.

Follow the northern trail up the creek, bearing right where the southern trail rejoins it. Eventually you'll come to North Emerson Lake. Just before you get to the lake, the trail heads north and then begins, with switchbacks up to the ridge. At the saddle at 8388 feet, bear left. In the flats above the saddle, before the trail begins to descend, head up the southeast ridge to Eagle Peak. There is a small bump (8520+ feet) which turned out to be just as easy to go over as around. The footing is pretty good until you reach about 8,400 feet, when there is some scree to deal with.

This is a truly lovely approach, especially along the creek and by the lake.