Alta Peak Trail

HARD 72 reviews
#9 of 83 trails in

Alta Peak Trail is a 12.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Red Fir, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September.

DISTANCE
12.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3884 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

cross country skiing

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

no dogs

hiking
13 days ago

The last 2.1 miles, from the fork between Alta Meadows and Alta Peak are completely snow-covered. I hiked it the Friday after Thanksgiving, and had to trail blaze using the GPS. It's possible some of it has thawed, but be prepared to hike over snow/ice/slush to reach the summit. Since the sun sets around 4:40pm, I would recommend bringing a headlamp and coming down from the summit around 2pm at the latest if you don't want to hike in the dark. The views from 2.8 miles onward are breathtaking.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail conditions are free of snow or ice. It's a strenuous hike and took us 8 hours out and back. Try to summit by noon since the days are shorter now.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Um waaaaay longer than 12.8 miles. Awesome views and very challenging. Like I'll be in pain for 3 days, kind of strenuous. The Hike is a lot longer than what it says. Our Apple Watch recorded the out and back hike to be about 19-20 miles round trip. Just be prepared and go early if you're planning a day hike Especially since the days are shorter now. Also there's only a couple of tiny streams but I suggest to bring plenty of water and a flashlight.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

awesome views ...very few hikers in October

2 months ago

Awesome hike. Very challenging for a day hike. Views were a little shrouded by some smoke in the area but still awesome.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Easy to locate but along the way the signs were not clear so we ended up off the trail. Definitely a hard hike from what we did experience if you are looking for a challenge!

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Gorgeous hike, beautiful views up top. We started the hike around 10:30 am Sat Aug 19th. We made it out just as it started lightly raining, although there was a lot of thunder well before that. There was a good amount of people on the trail, not too many - you could still hike for an hour without seeing anyone. It is well labeled, and has a nice combination of tree shade and exposure (which was hot in the sun). Definitely recommend it for someone who wants a nice challenge.

hiking
3 months ago

!!!!HELP PLEASE!!!!!! my friend recently passed away on Alta Peak and I would really like if someone could take a snapshot of the signature book at the top in the metal box. We would like a photo of his signature "Jeff and Margo (Margo)" , or "Jeff Brown and Margo Zuzow" Signature would be from 8/19/17 3PM. pleasee someone get this message out! Thank you! email photo to allyse.chong@gmail.com and shomargarita@hotmail.com

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

backpacking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

backpacking
4 months ago

Lovely hike with lots of wildflowers, tons of greenery, and lots of creeks to refill your water. One member of our group saw a few bears. Hike gets hot after Panther Gap because there's not a lot of shade. The path to Alta Peak is mostly cross-country after the split with the trail to Alta Meadow. The last 1/4 mile or so has patches of snow. It was firm in the morning but will probably be slushy in the afternoon. No winter gear required. The register was full so we added another page in. This was a two day backpack for us, but would probably be an easier day hike carrying minimal gear.

hiking
4 months ago

My wife and I hiked it on Wednesday, July 12th. It was a very nice trail with great views and opportunities to see wildlife (we saw two bears and a Sooty Grouse). Snow does cover the last several hundred yards and we took our time picking our way through the snow/rock patches in order to reach the peak, but was little problem with a decent pair of hiking boots and a shared pair of hiking poles. We went at a moderate pace and left Wolverton trail head at 9:30 am and back before 5 pm.

hiking
4 months ago

Alta Peak was a tough hike but great training! I picked it to see how I'd handle altitude, and it definitely makes it difficult. I also missed turning left for Alta Peak on the last split and ended up toward Alta Meadow. When I realized it, I actually just cut directly North, rock climbing a couple hundred feet until I intersected. That really took it out of me! Great navigation lessons and exercise though.
I actually think this would be the perfect time to go (mid July) if it weren't for the wildfires burning in the south. The snow is beautiful, the run off makes awesome (and also a bit dangerous in the afternoon) water fall/streams to cross, and the snow covers only a part of the trail where you can climb straight up the rocks anywhere and not get lost.
Honestly though, the smoke from the fires ruined the higher views for me. I thought the best view was actually East over the meadow or facing South before the massive uphill climb. There you're below the smoke line altitude and can enjoy the chill of shade and snow and the details of the valley and snow capped mountains are clear. Otherwise, it was the perfect length, elevation and altitude climb for the beginning of my Mt Whitney training!

hiking
4 months ago