Dicks Peak is a huge mountain that stands smack dab in
the middle of the Desolation Wilderness. As
such, it can be a bit more demanding to get to, but it
offers some of the best views in the entire area.
Combining Dicks with a climb of neighboring Jacks Peak
provides a great wilderness experience.
parking area, continue through the Bayview campground.
trailhead permit kiosk, one trail heads left to Cascade
Falls and one heads to the right to Granite Lake.
Follow the right hand trail for the first 0.5 miles as it
climbs steeply through trees up the ridge towards the
Desolation Wilderness boundary. After several
switchbacks along this stretch, the trail turns abruptly to
the right and emerges from the trees. Just a short
distance from here, you come upon a group of boulders that
are perched atop an overlook with tremendous views out over
Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe. Stop to admire the
panorama, then continue SW up the trail for another 0.7
miles to Granite Lake.
an easy hike of less than 1,000 vertical feet to Granite
Lake. With good reason, many people don't go any
farther than the lake: it is a lovely spot, tucked
into a shady bowl beneath the twin summits of Maggies Peaks.
The only downside of
Granite Lake is that there isn't much
of a view once you hike back in towards the lake.
However, the views will improve dramatically as you continue
up the trail to the saddle between the two Maggies
Peaks. From here, make a gradual descent down a broad
ridge above Azure Lake. The trail heads west until it
meets the PCT just north of Peak 9,190'. Follow the
PCT south past Dicks Lake to
Dicks Pass, the highest trail crossing in the Desolation
Wilderness at nearly 9,400'.
A quick detour
from here leads out to "Janine Peak", the unnamed Peak
9,579' above Kalmia Lake. The
here over Maggies Peaks and out to beautiful Lake Tahoe
this peak a fine objective in itself, but we have bigger
fish to fry. From Dicks Pass, leave the trail and head
west along the obvious ridge leading up to Dicks Peak.
You will likely see some evidence of footpaths through the
talus here. All roads lead towards
Stay below the ridge on the left side initially, then gain
the ridge as you near the summit. As you climb, you
can follow your route up the PCT
past Dicks Lake. Once on the summit (see photo
the views are grand. On a clear winter day or
after a rain, you can even make out the Trinity Alps and
Sutter Buttes far to the northwest.
-- SE Face of Jacks Peak from Lake Aloha
-- Jacks/Dicks Traverse