Camp Irene up the North side of Mount Reba: The Tahoe to Yosemite Trail


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 14 December 2010

 

Camp Irene to Mount Reba

This page is set up as the comments, questions, and related experiences page for the trail guide page covering the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail up the North Flank of Mount Reba.

Click the first link to leave a comment, or the second link to review the related trail guide page.

 North and South

The next Forum page to the South: Mount Reba to Lake Alpine on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail

The next Forum page to the North: Lower Ford of Summit City Creek to Camp Irene, Tahoe to Yosemite Trail

 Administratively

Camp Irene on the North Fork of the Mokelumne River marks the boundary between the El Dorado and Stanislaus National Forests. We are heading South across the river into the Stanislaus National Forest. This river crossing also marks our reentry onto maintained trails.

Congratulations. The Southbound Backpacker just completed the hardest part of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail, the 9.52 mile section from the junction in Summit City Creek with the trail up to Fourth of July Lake to our current position at Camp Irene.
 

We remain within the Mokelumne Wilderness continuing South, up to the top of Mount Reba. Mount Reba's peak and adjacent crest line marks part of the Mokelumne Wilderness' convoluted boundaries following the crest line through this bit of the Western flank of the Sierras. At the top of Mount Reba we pass out of the Mokelumne Wilderness.

Here's a few basic facts about this segment of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail:

The Big Climb up Mount Reba
Summit City Creek, and the Mountains bounding Highway 88 in the far distance, from the Northern Flank of Mount Reba.

Summit City Creek cutting deeply up into the Mountains bounding Highway 88 in the far distance. This view is looking North, from the Northwestern Flank of Mount Reba.


Elevations

Elevation: Camp Irene, 5280 feet.

Elevation: Mount Reba, 8729 feet.

Elevation Change: 3440 feet 

Miles

Mileage: 5.24 miles from Camp Irene South to the top of Mount Reba. All up. 

Mileage: 2.78 miles from the Top of Mount Reba South, to Bee Gulch trail head on Highway 4. All down.

8.02 miles total from Camp Irene to Highway 4 at the Bee Gulch trail head.

Mileage and Elevations

Terrain

Light forest mixed with moderate to heavy brush filling in the the granitic terrain provides little cover from the Sun, nor protection from the heat, as you traverse up the mostly manzanita covered mountain Northwest flanks. The hike up is a sustained strenuous steep climb, and the exposure and heat will intensify the difficulty during hot afternoons.

Maps

Detail: Lower ford of Summit City Creek over Mount Reba to Bee Gulch

Overview: Carson Gap to Lake Alpine

 

North and South

 

The next Forum page to the South: Mount Reba to Lake Alpine on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail

The next Forum page to the North:Lower Ford of Summit City Creek to Camp Irene, Tahoe to Yosemite Trail

 

 

Register so you can post your pictures and videos of this location in this Forum, or click through the comments link below to post your text comments and questions.

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Tom left some valuable safety and navigation information about Camp Irene, but he put his comment in the wrong forum!

Check out Tom's Wisdom:

http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/qa-your-experiences-big-meadow-trail-j...

Alex Wierbinski
Alex Wierbinski's picture

The trail South from Camp Irene is still very rough for about a half-mile South of Camp Irene. There are a couple of spots where the trail is obscure, requiring good observation to maintain the route.

The rest of the trail up to the top of Mount Reba has been gradually improving for years, and 2013 was no exception. Additional rock work has been done since I hiked through in 2009.

The current "hot spot" of sketchy trail is located on the switchbacks climbing up the final height to the crest of Mount Reba.

Two of the switchbacks are at the Angle of Repose, essentially gone. This is a function of the soft soils here. The terrain is composed of unconsolidated volcanic soils that move. The terrain moves when it is dry, and really moves when it's wet.

These same moving volcanic soils condition exists on Raymond Peak and Sonora Peak on the PCT.

I called Calvaras Ranger District of the Stanislaus National Forest and reported these conditions to the Trails Ranger.

I'm expecting them to re-dig these switchbacks sometime in 2014. Early 2014 season hikers will likely encounter these badly degraded switchbacks. This means that you should expect hiking a couple of hundred yards traversing a steep mountain flank without trail.

Be Careful!

Alex Wierbinski

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