Mount Lola Trail is a 12.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sierraville, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Directions from Truckee: Travel north on State Road #89 for approximately 13 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road # 7. Travel west for approximately 1.3 miles and turn left onto Independence Lake Road south. Travel south for approximately 0.5 to the junction with Sierra County Road #S301. Turn right at the first intersection and continue west for approximately 3 miles to the trailhead.
Backpacked in from the base of Castle Pass, past Whiterock Lake and up Mt. Lola. Very windy and cold but awesome! There are two rock structures at the top, providing a respite from the wind but not much else. Props to those who endeavor to build and maintain these little fortresses!
There's a few different paths to the summit for snowmobilers so if you plan on hiking it during the winter months like I did, heads up, navigate by following the creek and you should be good. Near the summit is deep snow and there were sections I wish I had crampons. Due to the incline near the summit and a couple other areas I would say it's a fairly challenging mountain, but the views are worth it! I would definitely suggest it. 3 1/2 hr RT for me.
Great trail for a day-hike to Mt. Lola Peak. Well maintained trail with low usage throughout the summer months (not sure about the winter yet). For reference, the parking area is at 6,600 ft., the meadow is 3.1 miles from the parking area on Henness Pass Rd. and sits at 7,750 ft., the peak is 5.6 miles from the parking area at 9,143 ft. The Meadow marks the halfway point for elevation gain, but is a little over halfway to the peak, from the meadow to the peak is 2.5 miles. For additional hiking, you can continue along the trail 1.8 miles to White Rock Lake. The lake sits at 7,800 ft. and is approximately 7.4 miles one way from the parking area. The lake is visible from the peak if you walk to the edge facing Old Man Mountain and Fordyce Lake (both visible from the peak). This would make for a 14.8 mile Round-Trip hike.
The distance shown for this trail isn't always right, since there's about three different ways to do it. We did this from the northernmost trailhead on the Henness Pass dirt road, where it's 5.5 miles one-way and 2420 feet of ascent. The dirt road there should be passable to any car if you take Jackson Meadows road (paved) from 89, and after about 1.5 miles take that switchback road to Henness. There is a parking area for this trailhead with (whats left of) a big sign that says "Mount Lola Trail".
The trail itself is in good shape and easy to follow. It follows Cold Stream up the forested cirque of the mountain, so there's not much to look at until Cold Stream Meadow, which is nice. At one point the trail joins the fire road over the wood bridge that crosses the stream, the bridge is pretty much collapsed now and probably couldn't be driven over. Most of the elevation gain is towards the end as it climbs the ridge for maybe 1300 feet - very steep at the end over the windswept ridge covered in volcanic rock and dust. The summit is barren and offers good views in all directions, and there's a couple of stone windbreaks to take shelter in. It's midweek in summer and we never saw anyone else. Overall a nice trail, it's essentially a harder version of Castle Peak.