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Split Mountain, California (14058 ft)

Split Mountain from US Hwy 395
Split Mountain from Red Lake at Sunrise

Inyo National Forest
Inyo N.F. Wilderness Permits and Reservations
Inyo County Sheriff
Inyo-Mono Body Shop & Towing (Bishop, 760-873-4271)

Route: North Ridge from the East (Red Lake)

A climb of Split Mountain from the east typically includes driving over a 4WD road from the Glacier Lodge Road to the Red Lake Trailhead. See Red Lake and Birch Lake trailheads, via McMurry Meadow for an excellent description of this route. I drove the 4WD route with a Ford Explorer in Low 4WD and only found the noted spot along Fuller Creek a concern, especially on the way out. Near the end of the route you will come to a T intersection. Trailhead parking is to your left, but the actual Red Lake trailhead is to the right.

The Red Lake Trail is often brushy and is typically dry with rare opportunities for accessing water. The route can be confusing in spots where it dips into a dry creek bed, crosses a brushy slope, and becomes a creek bed for a short distance higher on the route. Continue past the first lake and find a good campsite near the outlet of Red Lake. Some campsites are also available along the shore of Red Lake, but much of the area is quite rocky.

The climb route from Red Lake begins by traversing talus northwest from the lake and climbing an obvious moraine. Cross the glacial cirque above the moraine. Climb the headwall, following a subsidiary ridge to the right of a gully that may contain snowfields until near the top of the headwall, where you may wish to traverse left to climb a short gully. This leads to the North Ridge of Split Mountain, which is then climbed to the summit over talus.

Low on Red Lake Trail
Moraine from Red Lake
Headwall below North Ridge
Looking up Split Mountain's North Ridge


  1. Moynier, John and Claude Fiddler, Sierra Classics: 100 Best Climbs in the High Sierra, Chockstone Press, 1993.
  2. Porcella, Stephen F. and Cameron M. Burns, California's Fourteeners, Palisades Press, 1991.
  3. Porcella, Stephen F. and Cameron M. Burns, Climbing California's Fourteeners, The Mountaineers, 1998.
  4. Secor, R. J., The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails, The Mountaineers, 1992.

California Fourteeners

Mount Whitney Mount Williamson White Mountain Peak North Palisade Starlight Peak
Mount Shasta Mount Sill Mount Russell Polemonium Peak Split Mountain
Mount Langley Middle Palisade Mount Tyndall Mount Muir Thunderbolt Peak