Place Name: Placer County
Place Description: State: California
Elevation: 7,704 Feet
Prominence: 504 Feet
Elevation Gain: 1,585 Feet
Fun Mountain, Not So Fun Accessing
Devils Peak is known for having some class 3 routes, however, the hardest part is accessing this one legally.
- Established TH and easy drive in
- Fun Class 3
- Cool Knife Edge
- National Forest property nearly landlocked
- Lots of PG&E work at TH
- Loose rock heading up
Devils Peak is a beautiful rock tower located south of Interstate 80. The east side is an intimidating sheer face while the west side is a manageable class 3 climb. At 7,704 feet, Devils Peak is the lowest peak on the Tahoe-Ogul Peak List. The place on this list is the main reason climbers come to this summit.
One might think that the rocky summit would be the most difficult part of this outing, however, legal access has become the biggest issue.
Devils Peak sits in the Tahoe National Forest. Unfortunately, most of the land around it is private. The easiest way to access this area is to drive into Cascade Lakes which is on PG&E property and find your way to the Palisades Creek Trail.
The Palisades Creek Trail has an easement through private land and works its way towards the American River on the east side of Devils Peak before crossing back into the Tahoe National Forest.
From here, the only legal way to access Devils Peak is by splitting the hairs between two parcels of private land and two parcels of National Forest land. However, the terrain is crappy and no fun.
The western side of this peak is class 3, but I didn’t have any issues with it. I’d call it easy class 3 with lots of areas to stop and rest without much exposure.
There is a knife edge ridge to reach the high point and there is enough room to stay a couple feet away from the heavily exposed eastern ledge.
The Final Word
Because of the legal access, this peak really is a pain in the ass to get to. It’s a cool peak though and should be able to be experienced by anyone that wants to climb it.
One of two things needs to happen. This peak should be removed from the Tahoe-Ogul List or the land owners on the west side should set aside a couple days or weekends per year to allow peak baggers to knock this one out. They could easily charge $50-$100 per person to access their trailhead for a day. The hike up from the west side looks to be super easy and relatively short.
With the dirt roads shown on the map, hikers would technically be able to drive straight up to National Forest land and start their adventure there and never technically set foot on private property. Allowing just drive in access to National Forest property could help alleviate legal issues the land owners could be worried about should someone get injured. It wouldn’t happen on their land!
Anyways, food for thought.