Yet another mountain that has been within our reach for many years, but finally conquered fully - McGee Mountain peak is at 10,885'.
McGee Mountain was the original site of Mammoth Mountain way back in the 1950's. Extreme athletes now the mountain as an exit point to the sky where they launch paragliders off the northeastern face and catch thermals that lift their wings high into the eastern Sierra sky.
Deer greeted us as we took the rocky drive up Tobacco Flats road, and we soon began switchbacking in our SUV up that steep hillside. We drove the access road until the snow made driving impassable. From there we hiked the switchbacks up to the McGee mountain ridge.
Laurel Mountain above Convict Lake was extra dazzling in this mid-day sun. We made plans to summit that peak and the one behind it some weekend this summer once the snow melts. To think that you can drive your jeep up to this view in the summer.
The ridgeline looking south from the upper basin of McGee mountain was beautiful, and we could see a post at the top of the mountain to give us a vector around the snow fields.
Out to the west the jagged gothic cliff faces of Mount Morrison and the adjacent peaks. Another few peaks we'll bag before the end of this summer.
Near the summit we found this cool windbreak shelter that had an excellent view all around. We're looking north here towards the Minarets, Banner, Ritter, and below them you can make out Lincoln Mountain at Mammoth.
Finally at McGee Summit, 10,885' elevation. Though we couldn't find the registry, we did get so see some beautiful new perspectives of some things we see all the time. Here's the outlet area, including the dam, at Crowley Lake.
We were afforded beautiful views to the south looking over McGee Creek, leading up to to the McGee Lakes, Steelhead Lake, and more mountain peaks to summit.
Overall a longer hike at 8 miles round trip with about 2500' in elevation gain. Moderate compared to the last hike, with a high clearance gnarly SUV the hike could be only a matter of 30 minutes if you drive to the top of Tobacco Flats Road.
Until the next trail, Times Burning, better get moving.