Round Top was only my second 10k peak summit attempt (my first attempt being the nearby Red Lake peak). At Red Lake we were never able to get GPS over 10k ft for some reason. I think we didn’t find the true summit after searching around for a while, but it was close enough for me. So, in anticipation of an upcoming hike to Cottonwood lakes and Langley summit, I organized a little group hike to Round Top to get some practice in.
There are multiple routes to summit Round Top, but we started at the Carson Pass trailhead for an 8 mi out and back. (see the map here)
The first few miles are a nice pleasant stroll without much elevation change. The trail is clearly defined and easy to follow. Coming in and out of tree coverage you can get some amazing views of the peak pretty quickly! It looks dauntingly far!
After about 2.5 miles you’ll hit the lake just before the elevation gain begins. It sits right at the base of the peak, and you can see the final ascent path. This is a good spot to stop and rest a bit, refill water bottles, and mentally prepare for the climb.
The trail starts off doing some gradual switch backs, slowly working it’s way up to a somewhat sandy long vertical ascent.This is just about half way up the slope. There is still a defined trail but you have to keep your eyes open for it, and also keep an eye out for slippery slopes.
The view looking back is quite majestic. There was a bad haze in the background since we were still in fire season I can imagine how much better these views would be on a clear day.
This trail ends at some small bouldering
One last bit of scrambling to the peak!
Update: After summiting Langley, and I have to say that while I thought “Boy Red Lake was a cake walk compared to Round Top”. Looking back, both of these are nothing compared to 14k elevations yikes!