We originally started off the year with the goal to hike the entire Tahoe Rim Trail before year’s end. We … Continue reading Backpacking to Kinney Lakes
Located just south of Ebbetts Pass on the northern border of the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness is Hiram Peak and Highland Lakes. The summit of Hiram Peak lies only a about one mile away and a thousand feet above Highland Lakes. Although only 9,795 ft tall, the mountain has spectacular views of the surrounding area. On September 15th, my son and I set out for a camping trip to explore the area and give climbing Hiram Peak a shot.
Getting to Highland Lakes is fairly easy. From the Nevada side, take State Route 4 out of Markleeville towards Ebbetts Pass. This road becomes one lane near the top, so be cautious. It feels like you’re driving on a bike path at times. There isn’t much traffic, but it is a popular road for cyclists and motorcycles. Hopefully you won’t meet any RVs along the way. On the west side of the Ebbetts Pass Summit is Highland Lakes Road. A little ways off SR 4, the pavement ends. Follow this well graded dirt road (fine for passenger cars) about five miles to Highland Lakes. Along the way you’ll pass another Forest Service campground that might have spots available should the Highland Lakes campground be full.
When my son and I pulled into the campground, it was fuller than I had expected. There were a lot of guys in camo, and I started to see antlers poking out of the back of trucks. When I finally saw a downed deer in someone’s camp I realized it was deer season, and this was apparently a popular location to hunt. We were fresh out of blaze orange clothes, so we’d make sure to stick to the peak trail and not wander around the woods!
The Highland Lakes campground is divided into two sections, a lower, more open section on the north side of the upper lake, and a more secluded section up in the trees to the northeast of the upper lake. We picked a spot in the lower section next to the road with great views of Hiram Peak.