By Paul Armes
NAME: Sirretta Peak
LOCATION: North off of Mountain 99
HIKE TOTAL: 7.5 miles roundtrip
CLIMB: 2,241 feet of elevation gain
Other than Mt. Whitney, this is one of my favorite hikes. Super fun trail that almost puts you at 10,000 feet (9,853).
To get to the trailhead from Kernville: Head north on Mountain 99 toward Johnsondale. Stay on the main road until you come to Sherman Pass Road; you’ll then follow it until you come to the turnoff for Horse Meadow #22S12 on the right.
After turning right, you’ll take this road 13 miles to #22S07 Big Meadow Campground. This is an amazing drive in itself.
Once in Big Meadow, you need to make your way to the north end of the campground to the trailhead. Plenty of signs here to get you on your way.
The trail is very easy to see and follow until the last mile or so, where you’ll have to follow cairns to the top.
This trail has your typical Sierra look, granite rocks scattered among tall pine trees, green meadows and year-round creeks. Around three miles, the trail will make its way toward the top of Sirretta Peak — here’s where you follow the rock cairns. Not to worry if you lose ‘em, just head straight up!
Once at the top, you head south and toward the summit. Air is a little thinner at this point! The actual peak looks like a HUGE pile of rocks, and the easiest route I found was the northwest side.
No matter what way you go it’s a basic class 4 climb up (my 7-year-old had no problem). The peak offers 360-degree views of the valley.
There are a lot of things to see, so research the area first. Then, like most trails, you reverse your steps and head back. This is a fun one to run back!
Rock cairns. These things can be as much harm as good. They are built mostly to warn you of something or tell you which way to go. Remember this when you build a random one on a trail, in the river, or you knock one over. When we did the Mountaineers Route on Mt. Whitney, these were all you had to go by in some spots. Unless they’re needed, they also go against Leave No Trace.
I leave a lot of stuff out of these reviews so you can experience and explore it yourself. There is so much to see if you take the time to look.
For more info, download the AllTrails app. It’s one of the greatest hiking tools you’ll ever need.