For this month, Chris Cloyd takes us on a 12.5 mile loop up to Ellis Peak from Barker Pass, dropping down into the Miller Creek drainage before heading back to your car (for a total of 2,400 feet of climbing). According to SummitPost.org, “The peak provides fantastic views of the Desolation Wilderness, Lake Tahoe, and the surrounding National Forest. Compared to other peaks along Highway 89, Ellis Peak offers better views of Lake Tahoe and greater solitude.” And speaking of solitude, you may not see another soul in the Miller Creek area either.
Starting at Barker Pass, this is a great fall run that takes you up to Ellis Peak after almost 1,500 feet of climbing in the first 3.5 miles (it starts almost immediately, so start conservatively on this run). After the Ellis Peak out-and-back section, turn left on an old ATV road (Ellis Lake Road) and right on another into Miller Meadow and Cothrin Cove. All flowy descending adjacent multiple beautiful meadows and creeks, this is fun running. Pick up more singletrack until you “T” at the North Fork Miller Creek Road (old/unused ATV/dirt). Turn right here and run past a couple more idyllic meadows until you hit the PCT. Follow the PCT uphill on classic Tahoe singletrack for 700 more feet of vertical til you get to Barker Pass!
A geopsatial PDF can be downloaded here:
This route can be found in this Caltopo Map. Gpx tracks can be downloaded from the “Download File:GPX” tool on the Export menu.