- West boundary is at Tiger Creek Reservoir at the western end of the Stanislaus National Forest
- East boundary at Ebbetts Pass in Alpine County.
- Located in both Stanislaus & Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests.
- Trail alignment is not yet determined between Lake Alpine and Ebbetts Pass. The trail will be located in either Carson Iceberg or Mokelumne Wilderness, or both.
- U.S. National forests and wilderness areas are owned by the public and open to hiking, equestrian use and mountain biking, except for a mountain bike ban in wilderness areas.
Day Rides & Hikes
Challenging High Country Meadows Trail (tentative name)
Hiking, biking and horseback riding activities can be combined with camping at designated campgrounds or within the forest and wilderness area (no mechanized devices allowed in Mokelumne Wilderness). Also consider fishing, swimming, birding, wildflower walks, bouldering, mountaineering, highpointing, peak bagging, snowshoeing, & nordic skiing.
Biking – Recommended for experienced riders
- Water – there are some seasonal water sources on or near the trail – TBD. All water found on the trail must be treated before drinking.
- Caution – Be prepared for sudden weather changes, strong winds, and high altitudes. Besides a GPS, please carry a map, as many unmarked trails and fire roads cross the MCCT and mountainous terrain creates sketchy GPS fixes.
- If you come in from the lower altitudes, beware… the elevations is 7000′ or more in the high country. Give yourself a day or two to acclimate.
- Signage – Where the trail is signed it is marked at intervals with oval green, beige and white logo signs on 4×4 trail posts.
- Leave-No-Trace—The MCCT Council supports and encourages LNT practices while on the trail.
- Camping – is allowed along the trail unless otherwise designated.
- Stop in for a Wilderness Permit before trekking into the Mokelumne or Carson Iceberg Wilderness areas east of Salt Springs reservoir and east of Lake Alpine.
- Fire – Fire danger can be extreme, and fires, camp stoves, and smoking may be prohibited. Check trailhead kiosks or call the USFS (209-795-1381) for current regulations.
- Side Trips – from the MCCT one can enter Bear Valley or Lake Alpine for lodging, B&B, cold beer and meals. Various professional recreation businesses also base themselves in Bear Valley. Corral Hollow Hill (elev. 8170′) tallest peak in Calaveras County. Along Hwy 4 east of Lake Alpine are numerous trails leading north and south, too numerous to list here.
The trail from Moore Creek east (3200’) to Lake Alpine (7,388’) varies widely in grade, watch for steep rocky sections around Garnet Hill & between Mattley Meadow & Jelmini Basin. This route is unshaded & semi-shaded.
See trailheads below for information.
Vehicles with and without horse trailers should review recent changes to the U.S. Forest Service Stanislaus National Forest motorized travel system & dispersed camping.
Wilderness Areas east of Salt Springs reservoir and east of Lake Alpine are under special rules. Read more here.
Winter highway travel is open above Arnold on Hwy 4. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are open at Lake Alpine but parking requires a Sno-Park permit. Permits are available for a fee online and at Bear Valley Cross Country Ski Center, SNAC in Arnold, Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods in Arnold, and at USFS Calaveras Ranger District office in Hathaway Pines. Find more information here & season permit prices here.
Mattley Creek Trailhead is between Moore Creek and Bear Trap Basin and is difficult to access by vehicle.
Bear Trap Basin staging location in Calaveras County, on 7N09 off Hwy 4 above Arnold and drive along dirt road, staying to the right at various junctions until it’s end in the Basin next to the kiosk. Check with USFS Calaveras Ranger Station for conditions and seasonal closures.
Corral Hollow trailhead is at poorly-marked Forest Service road 7N35 just off the northside of Hwy 4 in Alpine County just east of Tamarack and a tenth of a mile west of the Alpine county line. Limited parking for cars only. Challenging trail leads up the ridge face on 7N35 and connects with the MCCT. Turn left on the MCCT (west) 1.3 miles up the trail, before the ridge line. Watch for motorized vehicles on 7N35; it can get quite dusty in summertime. Trail leads to Bear Trap Basin.
Bear Valley staging location is in Alpine County adjacent to Blood’s Meadow and across the highway and a mile or so east of the town of Bear Valley. Primitive conditions for camping with horse trailers are here, watch for off-limit areas to horses and vehicles near the tennis courts and baseball field. Trail leads to Lake Alpine.
Lake Alpine is the site of a developed campground and recreation area. MCCT alignment is incomplete east of this site.
MCCT’s eastern boundary is here, at the intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail.
Accomplishments to date by U.S. Forest Service
- Completed ADA accessible 2 mile trail at Lake Alpine
- Completed 2 mile trail between Lake Alpine and Bear Valley
- Completed 15 miles of trail between Calaveras Dome and Bear Trap Basin
- Installed trail signs and kiosks from Calaveras Dome to Alpine County line
Accomplishments to date by Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail Council
- Installed trail signage at Moore Creek and Forest Service road 7N58 towards Garnet Hill
- Explored and mapped potential routes for the MCCT segment on various existing roads and trails between Moore Creek and the Pacific Crest Trail at Ebbetts Pass
Recent project status
Trail signposts and kiosks were installed on 15 miles of trail between Moore Creek and Corral Hollow before snow season set in. A small piece, between Garnet Hill and Calaveras Dome, is not yet complete within this recently signed section of the trail. Trail construction should be completed in summer, 2011.
Remaining Work to Complete Segment
- Build trail between Garnet Hill & Calaveras Dome
- Fill kiosk windows with brochures and trail guidance and safety information
- Install trail signs along 2 mile stretch between Bear Valley and Lake Alpine
- Map and sign trail from Lake Alpine to Ebbetts Pass
- Complete trail planning between Moore Creek and Tiger Creek, find funding and build the trail
U.S. Forest Service
Contact: Casey Jardine 209-795-1381
California State Horsemens Association
Contact: Joseph Chavoen
Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
Building Garnet Hill trail segment with California Conservation Corps, Summer 2011 view MCCT calendar
MCCT Trail Council installed proposition 40-funded trail posts at Moore Creek. Hardy Custom Builders constructed and installed kiosks at Moore Creek and Bear Trap Basin.
2010 Trail sign and kiosk installation Photo Albums
Lodi Sentinel Staffers trek from the Mokelumne River headwaters at Highland Lakes downcountry to Salt Springs Reservoir Trip Report
We hope you enjoy the MCCT in the high country! To receive additional information, contact:
Mary Boblet, Segment Coordinator 209-795-7818, firstname.lastname@example.org