Red Lake Peak


Difficulty 4 Intermediate-advanced
Length 4.4 miles round trip
8550 feet
+1500, -1500 feet
Navigation Map
Time Half day
Season Mid-December through mid-April
Snowmobiles Not permitted [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Carson Pass and Caples Lake
Start Meiss Sno-Park, 0.1 mile west of Carson Pass on Highway 88.


A rewarding extension of the Meiss Saddle tour is an ascent of nearby Red Lake Peak. The tour described does not take you to the summit, but rather adjacent to the apex, which is a rock climb. Never mind that you haven't reached the actual summit — you will be only a few feet from the top and the views in all directions are superb. The nearby peaks in the Carson Pass area are visible along with Lake Tahoe in the distance to the north. You will also have an excellent view of the ridge that leads from Meiss Saddle to Little Round Top.

Image looking north from Red Lake Peak
Looking north from Red Lake Peak

Image of ridge leading to Little Round Top
Ridge leading to Little Round Top (far right)

Mileage Log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Miles: 0.0 - 1.0
Elevation change: +300, -50 feet

From the Meiss Sno-Park (1) work your way west for 0.5 mile while climbing gradually and then ascend northwest for another 0.5 mile until you reach the obvious broad saddle (2). Early and late in the snow season you may find the south-facing slopes leading to the saddle partially barren. Also, take care to avoid the slopes beneath the southwest ridge of Red Lake Peak, which may be avalanche prone.

Miles: 1.0 - 1.7
Elevation change: +500 feet

Ski northeast, climbing steadily, for 0.7 mile until you reach a gully (3).

Miles: 1.7 - 2.2
Elevation change: +650 feet

Ascend the steepening slope for 0.5 mile until you reach the ridge just to the south of Red Lake Peak (4).

Miles: 2.2 - 4.4
Elevation change: +50, -1450 feet

Retrace the route for 2.2 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