Andesite Ridge and Peak


Difficulty 4 Intermediate-advanced
Length 3.4 miles round trip
7200 feet
+1000, -1000 round trip
Navigation Road and map
Time Half day
Season December through mid-April
Snowmobiles Low
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Norden
Start The plowed loading zone on the north side of Interstate 80 at the Castle Peak Area and Boreal Ridge exit. Parking is at the Donner Pass Sno-Park located at the east end of the frontage road on the south side of the interstate at the same exit.


You will find the panoramic views from the summit of Andesite Peak grand. Unlike the easier (less steep) ascent described in the Andesite Peak tour, approaching via the main ridge as described here provides you with many more vistas. It is also a more direct route. Or you can experience the best of both tours by ascending as described here via the ridge and returning via the easier route.

Image of skier making final ascent along ridge to summit of Andesite Peak.
Skier making final ascent along ridge to summit of Andesite Peak

Image of skier on Andesite Peak.
On the summit of Andesite Peak

You will find a short steep section near the beginning of the tour that leads to Andesite Ridge and a much longer steep section that leads to the summit. Along the ridge the timber ranges from nonexistent to heavy. In open areas winds from the west can form cornices on the lee side of the ridge and peak; stay away from the steep edges in these areas.

Image of skier in open area before entering dense trees.
Easy traveling in an open area before entering dense trees

You can convert this tour into a loop that includes Castle Pass and Castle Valley by intersecting the Andesite Ridge Loop tour to the west of Andesite Peak.

Mileage Log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Miles: 0.0 - 0.3
Elevation change: +100 feet

From the trailhead (1) ski east on the snow-covered road that parallels the interstate and then northwest for a total of 0.3 mile until you reach a road junction (2). The road continuing northwest (straight) leads to Castle Valley, which is closed to snowmobile use, while this tour follows the road to the west (left).

Miles: 0.3 - 0.5
Elevation change: +100 feet

Turn west (left) and follow the snow-covered road for 0.2 mile until you reach a location where you can leave the road to the north (3). There is no landmark here, but the route to the north heads up a drainage between two knobs.

Miles: 0.5 - 0.6
Elevation change: +150 feet

Leave the road and ascend northwest and then north for a total of 0.1 mile until you reach Andesite Ridge (4).

Image of icicles on granite wall.
The route up to the ridge ascends the steep section on the camera side of the rock nose in the right of the image

Image of of a miner's cabin that lies to the southeast on the ridge and just to the northwest of Peak 7605.
This miner's cabin lies to the southeast on the ridge and just to the northwest of Peak 7605

Miles: 0.6 - 1.7
Elevation change: +650

Follow Andesite Ridge to the northwest for 0.6 mile until the terrain abruptly becomes more steep and then 0.5 mile more to the summit of Andesite Peak (5).

Miles: 1.7 - 3.4
Elevation change: -1000 feet

Retrace the route for 1.7 miles back to the trailhead (1).

Elevation Profile
Elevation profile
Link to elevation profile
Link to waypoint data
Link to full page map
Link to see and submit reviews and corrections about tour