Nevada County High Point Trip Report

Mount Lola

Date: October 10, 2003
Author: Larry Parrish

For those who want to shorten the hike to Mount Lola by 5+ miles and instead venture on the dirt road identified in Andy Martins' Sierra County trip report, here is the latest information.

I drove my old '85 Toyota pickup, and managed the rocky, bumpy road all right, though rarely got out of 1st gear. Use your own discretion. Also, I believe my odometer is about 5% inaccurate - so the mileage listed here may be a little bit high. My GPS was assuredly more accurate.

If you use Suttle's approach, the turnoff from road S301 is a short distance (0.3 - 0.5 mile) past the signed Mount Lola Trailhead. Using the Ken Jones - Dinesh Desai approach (which is also inaccurate), you turn left off of FS07 after more than a mile and turn right onto S301 about 2.3 miles from Highway 89, and the turnoff is another 3.2 miles, or 5.5 miles from Highway 89. Zero your odometer at the turnoff.

The turnoff is obvious, and well traveled, and also gets rougher the farther you go. At 2.1 miles you come to a fork. Do not go left, go right, which gradually descends down into the canyon and parallels the hiking trail. (If you have a topo, this appears to be a regular left turn, but not the sharp left). At 3.2 miles the road links up with the trail. This would be Suttle's 2 mile reference point. There is a small "Trail" sign nailed to a tree on your left. At 3.3 miles you cross a small wooden bridge - go left after crossing it. At 3.4 miles there is a spur road heading uphill to the right - stay left. Somewhere along this section the trail leaves the road and heads off to the left. If you've had enough bumpy road, keep an eye out for the trail, and park nearby.

Otherwise, drive on, with the trail in full view in the meadow below, and at 4.0 miles, you reach another spur on your right - go left down the hill to the creek and at 4.3 miles park your car, just before another wooden bridge crosses Cold Stream down to your left. The trail meets the road here, and is just off to your right, a little west of the stream. The coordinates are approximately (39° 26.985' N, 120° 20.900' W).

Again, these mileage numbers may be slightly high - but the mileage to Mount Lola was from my GPS and should be accurate: It's 2.25 miles and 1390 feet of elevation gain to Lola, and 1.25 miles and 560 feet of elevation gain to Lola North, for a total hike of 7 miles and 1,950 feet of total elevation gain/loss. A nice 3 hour hike and an adventurous, bumpy ride.