Wonoga Peak Birthday Climb

It is a tradition…climbing a peak or 2 on my birthday. Shenanigans are always part of the day. After all it is my day. Since I ran out of fingers to hold up to show my age this year, why not hang myself over the top of Wonoga Peak for fun. Right?  BTW: I do not recommend or promote such behavior. It is for the crazies only or older ladies that forgot for a moment that they are no longer a teenager. This trip was also the perfect opportunity to gear test a couple new items that I will be posting about soon: the new Sawyer Mini and Gaia GPS. Sadly while I was testing the Sawyer I accidentally dropped my pricey Sony RX100 directly and completely into the stream. Remarkably after much drying out, that camera is okay. Very surprising.

Wonoga Peak is a fun and short climb that starts from Horseshoe Meadows Road outside of Lone Pine, CA in the eastern Sierras. A perfect climb for beginners that want a taste of cross-country travel with a fast huge reward at the summit. Climbing up the summit block is class 2 with some alternate class 3 routes. The 360 view from the top is stellar with clear views of peaks: Olancha, Muah, Trail, Cirque, Langley, Whitney, Russell, Tyndall, Williamson and Owens Valley. This is serious High Sierra real estate. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate one more year of getting outside hiking, climbing, and backpacking.

About 2.1 miles round trip
TRAIL HEAD Drive up Horseshoe Meadows road to just past the place where hang gliders take off. There is a paved pull out on the right. This is where the Little Cottonwood Creek Trail starts to head up to Wonoga Peak.
DIFFICULTY  Moderate with some route finding
BEST TIME TO HIKE  Spring, summer, and fall
ROUTE Head up Cottonwood Creek about a 1/3 mile, head cross-country east up the ravine to Wonoga Peak. We referred to Trip 110 in Exploring the Southern Sierra: East Side by J.C. and Ruby Jenkins for directions.

Trail following Little Cottonwood Creek
Trail following Little Cottonwood Creek
Head up this ravine from Cottonwood Creek Trail
Head up this ravine from Cottonwood Creek Trail
Alternate class 3 route to the top
Alternate class 3 route to the top
View of Trail and Cirque Peaks from the top of Wonoga Peak
View of Trail and Cirque Peaks from the top of Wonoga Peak
Rabbit Brush at Trail Head
Rabbit Brush at Trail Head


Wonoga Peak Map
Wonoga Peak Map


View all photos on Flickr

You might also enjoy my previous birthday climb posts: Cirque and Lone Pine Peaks.


  1. The Beekeeper

    We are Libra sisters! I was curious about your opening quotes also, glad another follower asked. Loving our great fall weather, heading out this weekend to find some color myself, and celebrate the passing of my day (which sadly I had to work on, but hopefully for the last time). Cheers to another year and more adventures!

    • The Beekeeper

      Forgot to mention, I’ll be trialing my new Sawyer Mini this weekend, and have had the sad experience of dropping my camera in a creek with a similar happy end of saving it. Amazing the resilience of electronics!

  2. Beautiful. And happy belated birthday!

  3. Leslie/NoUglyOneYet

    Looks like you both had a lot of fun! I thought I read on WhitneyZone that the Horseshoe Meadow Rd was closed due to the govt shutdown – that wasn’t a problem for you?

    • We hiked this a few days before the shutdowns. I would like to go back again next year and combine this peak with climbing Owens Point. It sure is tragic for so many.

  4. Happy birthday Rockin’! I’ve been meaning to ask you…what’s your system for coming up with all your great quotes? Do you just make notes of ones you like, to use later or do you kind of research them or what? Just curious as you’ve had a lot of good ones and you’re so consistent with it.


    • Hey that is a very good question. Believe it or not many are sent or recommended to me by friends, family, and readers of Lady on a Rock. I also add quotes as I find them along the way to a document in Evernote, one of my favorite programs. That way they are always there on my phone whether I have cell service or not.

      On all of my thru-hikes during the summer where I consistently seem to use them, I gather quite a few before my long hike. As I am hiking during the day, I think about what quote would fit. At night I copy and past the quote I decided on for the day into my blog post on my iPhone. It is fun for me and I hope it adds interest or entertainment for my readers. Thanks Goal Tech for asking.

  5. Good that you had someone reliable holding you over the edge! Happy Birthday and I hope the next year is best one ever.

    • It did take quite a bit of faith in my husband and in the strength of my pants. 🙂 My heart was racing big time! Especially since I was the one who set the camera timer and ran into the picture. Best wishes to you also.

  6. A perfect way to spend your birthday.

  7. Georgette Theotig

    Happy Birthday, you peak bagger! I so enjoyed your photos from a perfect fall day. May the next year be filled with wonderful adventure!

    • May your year be filled of grand trips, good health, and happiness. Thank you for always reading and following along! Someday I hope to feature some of your work.


    Beautiful! And what great weather. Happy Birthday!! You adventurous old lady!!!!

  9. Happy birthday! Can’t think of a better way to spend it. I followed you and Wired on your hiking excursions. Very enjoyable reading and quite and experience for you. Hikers are an amazing group of people! 🙂

    • I know. Right? I just love this hiking community. One of the big perks of getting outside is just the interesting people you meet along the way. We are a unique group. Thank you for commenting!

  10. Reblogged this on VINOD833's BLOG and commented:

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