Little Bald Mountain
Bottle Hill
Cement Hill
Mameluke Hill
Hotchkiss Hill P300
Peak 2,125ft P300
Pointed Rocks
Clark Mountain P300

Apr 24, 2024
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 4 GPX


The second day of an overnight trip in El Dorado County had me camped in the Eldorado National Forest on a ridgeline between the Middle Fork American River and Otter Creek. Rising early, I had some driving to do back through Volcanoville and other parts for about half an hour. After doing some minor summits on private forest lands, I moved closer to civilization for some additional ones, none very challenging.

Little Bald Mountain

This one is located in the Hornblende Mtns SW of Volcanoville, on the south side of Otter Creek. Though it was less than a mile from where I camped on the north side of the creek, there is no bridge across the creek, requiring a good deal of driving for Little Bald. I was surprised to note that Barbara and Gordon had been to the summit in 2001, though it has little prominence. Forest Road 13N58 gets one within half a mile to a saddle on the east side of the mountain. A spur road to a locked gate gets one even closer. I parked at the gate and went up the continuing road, used to service a transmission line that runs across the SE shoulder of the mountain. The summit was burned in the 2016 Trailhead Fire, and most of the mountain on private lands was logged around the same time. There is much slash and brush enroute to the summit once one leaves the service road. Lots of new pine trees crowding the summit as well. If the dynamic duo had left their usual register, I saw no signs of it amidst the clutter. About 25min for the roundtrip.

Bottle Hill - Cement Hill

Back at the Jeep, I continued west along 13N58 which appears to have been used as a firebreak to contain the Trailhead Fire to the north. Bottle Hill and Cement Hill are two minor points along the broad ridgeline running west from Little Bald Mtn. Bottle Hill's summit is found in a clearing just south of the dirt road. Cement Hill is 1/4mi southwest of Bottle Hill with a highpoint amongst a collection of logging slash. No views from either.

Mameluke Hill

From Cement Hill, I dropped drove south down 13N97 which crosses Canyon Creek before climbing up to Georgetown, passing over Mameluke Hill. Mameluke Hill is a large, flattish area in a rural community on the outskirts of Georgetown. The highpoint is difficult to discern, but appears to be in a yard off Morgan Ranch Loop. There is no parking on this loop that I found, but one can park on Mameluke Hill Rd and walk the short distance to explore for the highpoint. Trespassing might be required to stand atop it.

Hotchkiss Hill

This is a drive-up east of Georgetown. Chipmunk Trail, the access road off Wentworth Springs Rd, is signed as a private road and No Trespassing. The road is not accurately depicted on Google Maps which shows it going through someone's property, but one just needs to stay on the main road to Chipmunk Ridge Rd which will take you past a home to the telecom installation at the summit. A locked gate (no fencing) leaves you about 100ft of walking to the highpoint on the west side of the installation.

Peak 2,125ft

This is the highpoint of Auburn Lake Trails, an upscale rural development west of Georgetown. You won't find confederate flags and junk-strewn yards, but you will find nicely paved roads, neat homesteads and the occasional Trump flag. The entrances to the development are gated, but it is easy for outside pedestrian access. There is an extensive trail network on the steep, wooded slopes leading down and along the Middle Fork American River north of the development. Access to the TH is found just outside the entrance to the community on paved Sweetwater Trail. The TH is signed for No Parking, but there is parking to the south along the roadway. Kerry Breen describes an excellent day hiking some 14mi of trail and roadway that took in the peak. I was here just for the summit which amounts to about 3mi roundtrip. The hike is entirely on paved roads without sidewalks and not very interesting. The summit is found at the end of Angel Camp Ct in a cul-de-sac. There are signs at the summit for hiking trails off either side of the cul-de-sac, but in exploring them briefly, it appears the trails have been abandoned and no longer maintained.

Pointed Rocks

This was the most enjoyable summit of the day, found on BLM lands as part of the Auburn State Recreation Area. There is parking available at the TH in the town of Cool, near the junction of SR193 and SR49, with a $10 fee. Alternately, you can park for free elsewhere (I parked along SR49) and still access the trail system. The distance to the summit is about a mile and a half, traveling through oak woodlands with lovely green grass at this time of year. The trails are a combination of ranch roads and single tracks with portions of the Western States 100 passing through. The summit requires a short stint of cross-country, no real bushwhacking, but unremarkable. There were no pointed rocks that I could find, just a collection of stones that looked like a small cairn that had been kicked over. I spent an hour on this one, time well-spent.

Clark Mountain

This summit lies above the South Fork American River on BLM land, but a public access route looks difficult without fording the river (which seems dangerous). David Sanger found a route from the south starting from aptly named Clark Mtn Rd. I parked at the same turnout (it's not really a turnout, just a bit of sketchy side-of-the-roadway parking) he used and followed ATV tracks up grass and oak-covered slopes to the summit, no negative signs or fences to be crossed. The highpoint is found at a defunct electrical box just off the trail. I did not find the register David is said to have left. I spent just over 20min on this, finishing shortly after 1p. This was enough for the day as I'd run out of prepared summits, so I headed for home in the afternoon.

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