Placer County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: September 22, 2008
Author: "Dingus Milktoast"

So a bump on a shoulder of Mount Baldy on the north shore of Lake Tahoe is deemed the high point of Placer county? What fun! We have to go climb it ASAP, of course! The trailhead could have been hard to find. Instead, using a 3 sentence approach description it was easy.

The trailhead itself isn't a trailhead, as the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) uses old logging roads and what have you, where appropriate.

The back side of the sign reads,

"<- TRT

The trail is a real hiking pleasure. It sees plenty of foot traffic as well as mountain bikes so it is worn pretty smooth. It weaves through red fir and mountain hemlock groves, offering tempting views of the lake.

I deemed this spot to be the likely HP location.

Lacking high technical tools and Von Schmidt chain-surveying equipment, I had to guess (with compass and map in hand). Another hiker with a GPS (who also visited the new HP on the first day of fall, about an hour after me) thinks the same. Itís just off the trail and is the only rocky outcrop of its kind like it on the entire hike, just to the right of the dead trees and overlooking the canyon.

Heading on up the trail to the summit of Mount Baldy I examined other potential hp spots but kept coming back to that first one Ė pretty sure the forest service stake marks the state line too.

This sign marks the end of the mountain bike trail. I was pleased to note there were NO bike tracks beyond that sign. This also marks the cut off to the final use trail to the summit of Baldy.

The final push to the summit is very demanding. With all the dead mule ears, the crunching noise of dry leaves underfoot was very unnerving.

The views from the summit are stunning and make the hike well worth it for that sake alone.

It was a windless afternoon, first day of Fall. I could actually hear traffic down in King's Beach some 3000 feet below.

Standing on the summit of Baldy, looking south.

There is no register on Baldy. The other hiker said he left a small one at the HP but I doubt any such monument will last. The HP is very frequently visited. Itís clear many folks take breaks there.