Thursday, June 11, 2015

Joe Lake Loop

Work your way up the Gold Creek Valley and then enjoy a smooth ride back along the PCT on this 21-mile loop. Getting from the Alaska Lake junction up to the PCT is a bit of a challenge, with steep brushy trails and a short chunk of cross-country, but totally worth doing for the elegance of tying this loop together. Alaska and Joe Lakes are rarely-visited gems and the views along the PCT are hard to beat.

Distance: 21 miles for loop alone and about 23 with the recommended sidetrips to Alaska Lake and Mountain

Elevation Gain: Around 5,500' feet of gain for the loop and 6,700' with both sidetrips

Maps and More:

Overview Map:


The Alaska Lake junction

A waterfall just below Joe Lake

Looking up at the PCT from Joe Lake. The recommended cross-country path is 
through the brush and up the open slopes on the right side of the picture

Looking back down at Joe Lake from the PCT

More information:


  1. Are you be able to fine Alaska Lake Mine ?

  2. There are a few old mining sites in the Gold Creek Valley. One is easily visible on the slopes of Alaska Mountain, located where the red dot labeled "adit" appears on the map. It's an adit (mine shaft) with a pile of orange-ish tailings below it.