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Any good ski touring in Pinecrest/Emigrant Wilderness areas (Sierras)?


Winter is inevitable, and I am starting planning.

I know that Lake Tahoe and Yosemite areas are the best places for ski touring, but in the coming season I might have a rather convenient access to the Plinecrest/Sonora Pass/Emigrant Wilderness areas. There is not much info on touring there. Pinecrest is popular with Nordic tourers, but not much is known about AT. 

Does anybody know anything about the topic?


5 Replies

Hi @Dmitry 

I've only toured a couple of times in that area, so I can only give rough guidance - there is pretty decent opportunity for touring near Pinecrest. The area east of Highway 108 from Bell mountain north to Eagle peak(there are 2 Eagle peaks in the area - this one is closer to Donnell lake) offers some fairly accessible turns. Skiing east out of Dodge Ridge past the Gianelli trailhead will get you into some of the better terrain quickly. Further up, heading north from the Hwy 108 sno-park and then moving upslope to the east will get you to some mellow exposed rolling ridges.

Geographically, the area is generally low(er)-angle, punctuated by steeps. Expect lots of short mini-golf lines in interesting terrain. My recommendation would be to hike the area once the National Forests reopen and scout your lines. Don't end up surprised by one of the many cliffs here.

If you're feeling industrious and want to venture further on multi-day trips, there is some interesting terrain between Granite dome and Blackhawk mountain, and some large alpine faces near the PCT between Leavitt peak and Molo mountain/Big Sam

Overall, if this is your backyard for local laps this winter, I'm sure you'll find plenty of untracked turns to keep you happy all season.

Pray for Snow!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Thanks @REI-ReinkeM 

I will definitely have an opportunity to hike the are to see what local features look like (an which do not show on topo maps).



Hi @REI-ReinkeM 

Speaking of the Eagle peak, are you mentioning the peak at 38 16' 28" N, -119 50' 53" or another feature?



@Dmitry  That's the one! Enjoy!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.


There is a local ski patrol ( which has a simplified trail map.  You are also invited to join us at either of our training events or a day tag-along to explore what we do.