Take a beautiful hike up to a pass with an amazing view, and finish with a brutal but fun scramble and an adrenaline inducing summit block to bag a 13,000 foot peak. The challenge and the views make this a rewarding climb.

Starting at 9,200 feet at Onion Valley Campground, take Kearsarge Pass Trail. The hike begins immediately with a substantial increase in elevation, switchbacking up the mountain. On the way up rest and enjoy the beautiful alpine lakes, which include Gilbert, Flower, Heart and Big Pothole Lake. Flower Lake is the last water source that is easily accessible to filter water. After about 4.2 miles and 2,500 feet of gain, you will reach the top of Kearsarge Pass at 11,700 feet.

From the top of Kearsarge Pass, the adventure isn't over yet. To reach the summit of Mt. Gould, start scrambling up the slope directly North of the pass. The first half of this part of the climb is mostly a will-testing slog up class 2 scree. About halfway up, the terrain turns to fun boulder hopping and route finding. Continuing North, a false summit blocks the way. Traversing low and West of the false summit will lead to the true summit. To reach the true summit, circle around to the the North end of the summit block and climb up a tricky, but short class 4 section and reach the 13,012 foot summit. A summit register sits on the South edge of the summit block right below the final granite block.

Pack List

  • Day Pack
  • 2-3 Liters of water storage
  • Water filter
  • Compass and Map
  • Food
  • Light jacket
  • Headlamp
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RT Distance 9 Miles
Elevation Gain 3812 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Lake
Scenic

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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