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Hike to Frémont's Long Camp

At Red Lake, on the eastern approach to Carson Pass on Highway 88, winter parking is usually available on Vista Road (a remnant of the old Carson Pass route). The exit from 88 to Blue Lakes Road is not signed--you have to watch for it.

If you park at Red Lake, the walk is about 1 1/2 miles. It rises from 7800 feet to 8000 feet, with quite a few ups and downs in between, to the my map point on Blue Lakes Road marked "Park here when road open." There may be a total of 400 feet of climbing. From that map point there it is a fairly steep climb to the camp at 8080 feet. When there is no snow, an unimproved dirt road takes you most of the way. When you find it, bear to the right when it forks. It takes about 45 minutes walking, or an hour if on snowshoes.

go In winter, check snow depths and road conditions for this area.
go Frémont came here on snowshoes--where did he get them?

This north end of Blue Lakes Road was originally the Forestdale Pass Road (1860's). It Ran from Red Lake to Upper Blue Lake, via Summit City, and connected with the old Big Trees Route to Murphies at Lower Blue Lake. It remains as a somewhat maintained Forest Service Road. It is passable to most vehicles when there is no snow and it is dry.

After leaving Blue Lakes Road, it is actually not easy to find your way around as the forest is fairly dense. GPS is a big help and saves a lot of time going up and down and around. The site can also be located on the CARSON PASS QUADRANGLE, CALIFORNIA, ALPINE COUNTY, 7.5 MINUTE SERIES (TOPOGRAPHICAL) map. You can scale the coordinates on the map, or locate the hill marked 8104' el.
go See a large aerial map of the campsite.

go See at Frémont's Longcamp on Google Maps!

Since July, 2004, Frémont's Long Camp is now a GEOCACHE site.

Click the GEOCACHING icon to visit the page.
Anyone with a GPS receiver can participate in this popular new hobby.
There are probably many geocaches right near you. Geocacher LFlood found it: Thank you for your scholarship and efforts to preserve our history. This is a highly deserving cache location. I'm glad it is still in its pristine state.


When you get there, looking west you see the vista as Charles Preuss drew it in February 1844. If you walk east on the top of the hill, you can see across into upper Faith Valley to the south. This is where the expedition traveled to get to the camp. Some of the Sierra Junipers are really magnificent!
go See the vista as Charles Preuss drew it in February 1844.

go Something I'm really glad I have never run into in my scouting around!

go Follow a hike from Markleeville to the Charity Valley.
go See an article by Tom Chaffin on this discovery in OUTSIDE MAGAZINE
go Just who discovered Carson Pass, anyway?
go Lake Tahoe discovered! Two accounts: Frémont's narrative of February 14, 1844, and a recent climb of Red Lake Peak by Peter Lathrop of Carson City, NV.


©1999, 2007
Bob Graham