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Stories from the valley

Robbs Peak Winter Trek

Contributed by Carl Gwyn

Perched high atop Robbs Peak at 6686 ft. elevation sits the historic Robbs Peak Lookout, a fire watchtower built in 1937. Now retired and listed on the National Historic Lookout Register, it’s a great destination for winter travelers on skis or snowshoes. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with a 360° view of the entire area.

The Robbs Hut trailhead is located 23 miles out Ice House Rd. from Highway 50, where you’ll find parking for five to six vehicles. The trail is well marked and follows the gentle upward incline of the summer access road. You first travel through rich forest and after a mile or two are rewarded with a grand view of the Crystal Range, specifically of Pyramid Peak.

Upon reaching the top, you will find the fire watchtower, Robbs Hut, which can be booked in advance for overnight stays, and a couple of picnic tables that are usually snow free. After you climb to the tower’s observation platform, you’ll have a complete view of the Crystal Range and can see Round Top Peak on Carson Pass. Looking north, the desolation caused by the King Fire is obvious. On a clear day, looking west, you can see Mt Diablo on the coast.

It’s difficult to leave such a beautiful spot, but the reward of the uphill hike to reach the tower now comes as the entire return trip to your vehicle is downhill.

More information on the trail to Robbs Peak and overnighting in Robbs Hut is located here (https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev7_018785.pdf; << please make “here” a clickable link).