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Tioga Peak isn't very high, very difficult, nor an SPS-listed peak. But everytime one drives up or down the Tioga Road it is difficult to miss (except perhaps at night!). I had gone by this peak dozens of times before I had learned its name, and dozens of times more before I got a chance to climb it. It was one of those peaks to be saved when you have a few hours going either east or west over the pass.
Today was that day. I had to get back to San Jose by evening but coming from Mammoth Lakes I had a half a day to spare for climbing this peak. It doesn't take even that long. The shortest approach is at the Gardisky Lake TH located halfway along the road to Saddlebag Lake. There is a parking area on the west side of the road, the TH found across the way on the east side. The trail climbs steeply at first, then levels off before reaching Gardisky Lake. I left the trail before reaching the lake and followed the rounded Northwest Ridge to the summit. The climbing is no more difficult than class 2, and I found myself at the summit in about 45 minutes. The views are quite nice in all directions, some shown here: (S - SW - W - NW - N). I signed the summit register and jogged back to the car. Onward to San Jose!
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Tioga Peak
This page last updated: Thu Mar 31 19:24:42 2011
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