This is a little quick report on a backcountry scramble up Hurd Peak.

Trail Head:

The trail starts out of South Lake in Bishop CA.


If you have ever been at south lake before Hurd Peak is likely the first mountain your eyes will be drawn to.  It poses a striking presence at the back end of South Lake and dominates a lot of the skyline from this vantage point.  The hike begins out of south lake proper.  You will eventually take a trail spur towards treasure lake.  Hurd peak is in view for much of this approach and when you decide to turn off cross country towards the peak is really individual preference.

Looking out at South Lake


There is a 3rd class route up the west face.  This would be the most recommended and logical approach to the top.   I however am drawn to steep rock and found a 5th class way up the north face of Hurd Peak.  There are the NW Slabs 5th class or N Ridge 5th class.  This video is of the slabs. I think I’d prefer the ridge next time.


For early season I would bring gear for traversing or descending snow slopes. A small rack and rope could be warranted for the 5th class routes. It’s always good to carry, even if it stays as a backup in the pack.   Or consider the 3rd class way your first time and then you can assess your comfort on the north face.   I was on my own and chose a route I felt comfortable on. This did mean I meandered a bit on the rock to avoid climbing at a grade higher than I wanted to (you can see that in the video).   Of course, it’s always good practice to be ready to turn around if you encounter something you don’t have the gear, or skills to handle.

Here’s a weather link for Bishop.



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