Dick's and Jack's Peaks
(Traverse from Glen Alpine Springs Trailhead)

16 Sep 2009 - by Alex Rosenthal

I wanted to get both of these peaks on an earlier trip this year to Desolation Wilderness, but I just didn't have the energy at the end of that trip. With a little extra time this week I decided to go for a short trip and bag them quickly. I left Sonoma County late Tuesday night and camped at the Lover's Leap campground in Strawberry. I woke up at 5:20 am hoping to avoid rush hour traffic through Sacramento on the way home. I left the Glen Alpine Springs trailhead at exactly 7:15.

The route to Dicks Pass was a bit like a maze, but with the map it was simple enough to find the follow. From the pass I followed the use trail up to Dicks Peak. It was a 2nd class hike and scramble to the top. There was no register. From the peak there were some excellent views of Lake Tahoe and the ridge that connects Mt. Price, Mt. Agassiz, 9,686, and Pyramid Peak. After spending 10-15 minutes on the peak I started towards Jacks Peak. The ridge was easy to traverse, but there were perhaps one or two easy 3rd class moves at the base the peak. After an easy ascent and another 10-15 minute rest I started to descend.

The descent to Half Moon Lake was the hardest part of this trip. The terrain was loose but the route finding was much harder than I expected it to be. I had to retrace my steps a little bit a couple of times. Nothing dangerous but it took longer than I had hoped. Once back at Half Moon Lake the trail reappears and the route back to the trailhead is very easy to follow. I finally arrived back at the trailhead at almost exactly 2:45 pm. I was hoping to be back closer to 2 pm, but I think the 6 hours of sleep the night before as well as a later-than-hoped for start to the day slowed me down. Even so traffic through Sacramento was no problem!

A total of 7 hours trailhead to trailhead, 4 hours and 20 minutes from the trailhead to the summit of Jacks Peak including breaks. Approximately 14 miles and ~4,000 ft. of elevation gain and loss. By the end my knees were quite sore. I think trekking poles would be a great idea of you've got em.

Here's a view of Jacks Peak with the Pyramid Peak Ridge in the background:


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