Split Mountain

Split Mountain's shape is unique because of the twin summits seperated by a notch. The easiest way to climb Split Mountain is the North Ridge Route. The standard route is Red Lake Trail from Red Mountain Creek trailhead. To get to the trailhead the climber needs a vehicle with high ground clearance. A 4 wheel drive vehicle is not necessary, but can be helpful. The dirt road is in poor condition and about 13 miles long. Allow 1 hour for it alone. The climb is only class 1 or 2 except for a short section of class 3. No ropes are necessary. The summit rewards the climber with a spectacular vista (see photo).

Elevation (feet): 14,058
Elevation (meters): 4,285
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Sierra Nevada
State: California
Latitude: 37.0167
Longitude: -118.417
Difficulty: Scramble
Best months for climbing: Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
Year first climbed: 1887
First successful climber(s): Frank Saulque
Nearest major airport: Los Angeles
Convenient Center: Big Pine

Thanks to Brent Harder for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 14 trip reports for Split Mountain.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #12740 - by Kris Quackenbush on May 25, 2004
    The view from Split Mountain was incredible. Dave Mike and I had the mountain to ourselves. We were very lucky to have such great weather so late in the season. We estimated the temperature at the...
  • Log #12741 - by Chris Tibbens on Nov 12, 2003
    Started from Southfork Trailhead, hiked up East Face of Middle Palisade, then down the west side. Traverse to Mather Pass, ascend the West Face of Split Mountain. Descended to the Red Lake Trailhead...
  • Log #12742 - by TVogel on Oct 03, 2003
    We spent a cold, windy night camped on the Split-Prater saddle and woke up to climb the north ridge to the summit by sunrise. Split casts quite a shadow to the west at sunrise!
  • Log #12743 - by Patrick Rhodes on Aug 14, 2003
    Solitude!!! Great snow travel, great sunrise, simply amazing view. Will return.
  • Log #12744 - by Eric Lofton on Sep 24, 2002
    An amazing vista from the summit! The way up is rather grueling though not technical in nature, glad I didn't put my dog through it, don't think he'd enjoy the boulder scramble from Red Lake on up. ...
  • Log #12746 - by Anne Nowatzki on Sep 23, 2002
    My first 14er! Hiked to Split over Mather Pass from Palisade Lake. Went around lake 11,975, up saddle between Prater and Split, then up to summit (loose rock scramble all the way). Climb from lake to...
  • Log #12747 - by Rick Stauber on June 05, 2001
    Second annual Memorial Day trip to Split Mountain. Less bugs more people. Made Red Mountain Lake in 4 + hours. Summited via the southeast bowl to the south summit (8 hrs) then traversed to the north...
  • Log #12748 - by Greg Arnold on May 23, 2001
    I concur with everyone- the hike in is hell. Red Lake is a beautiful untouched area with awesome fishing for goldens in the meadow and tarn below the lake. No fish in the lake though. Peak was...
  • Log #12749 - by Kelly Harriger on Mar 23, 2001
    Very enjoyable route. First trip in 1998 was wet on the way up, and it snowed from Red Lake to the summit. Make the hike up to Red Lake in just over 4 hours on each trip. We always travel super-light...
  • Log #12750 - by Paul McGuffin on Feb 02, 2001
    Well! If you think this is as easy as the books say, I have a bridge I would like to sell you. Yes, the tech part is easy. But, let me tell you, the approach is HELL! Thank God we had my 4x4 Toyota....
  • Log #12751 - by Kirk Hess on Dec 26, 2000
    See my website for trip review.
  • Log #12752 - by Jim Dziadulewicz on Aug 08, 2000
    Lots of bad rock falls allmost got hit. Bring a Helemt
  • Log #12753 - by Joel D. Goldberg on July 16, 2000
    My God I'm sore! California 14er number 6 was a bit more demanding than anticipated. As reputed, the entry road is an adventure in itself. The 4,000 ft. hump to base camp is no laughing matter, but...
  • Log #12754 - by Rick Stauber on May 30, 2000
    Where else can you go in California on Memorial Day and have a beautiful lake and 14'r to yourself. The bad news: a horrible dirt road leads to a gnat-infested trailhead at a measly 6500ft and Red...