Nevada County Highpoint Trip Report

Mount Lola

Date: September 12, 2004
Author: Peter Maurer

Following the directions provided in Gary Suttle's book, we reached the trail head with no difficulties, even though the distances are not accurate. The trail begins at the west end of the parking area, next to the apparently-relocated trail sign. A steady climb takes you through a wide range of vegetative type, from lodgepole pine and aspen up through Jeffrey pine and white fir along the canyon edge of Cold Creek. After about 2 miles the trail hits the dirt road described in Suttle as well as other trip reports (we opted for the longer hike to take advantage of the beautiful early autumn hiking conditions) and after a few hundred yards crosses the creek on a wooden bridge.

Here the route is a little confusing. The road splits immediately after the bridge; take the left fork. About 40 yards beyond, that the trail takes off to the left, leading to the edge of a beautiful meadow. If you miss the trail (as we did - there is no sign marking it from the road) keep on the road and take any left fork. After 1/2 mile, it leads back to the trail at the upper end of the meadow, to the point where the shorter hiking route begins.

From this point the trail climbs steadily again, through mountain hemlock, leading up to a saddle. From the saddle the trail turns to the west and follows the ridge line to the summit. There are some fascinating rock outcrops overlooking the canyon to the south, what appear to be old andesite plugs. Even at this late date, wildflowers were blooming in the rich volcanic soils near the summit. The trail is well used and, though steep in places, leads directly to the summit where a sign marks the summit and a register sits in an ammo box inside a wind shelter. The view from the summit is spectacular, with Mt. Lassen barely visible on the northern horizon, Mt. Rose to the East, the peaks around the west and south shores of Lake Tahoe to the South, and everything in between. The wind was brisk and cold so we took shelter behind the rock wind shelter for a quick lunch before the side venture to Mt. Lola North (see trip report for Sierra County).

Climb statistics: 10 miles round-trip; ascent time 2.5 hours; 2,600 ft elevation gain.