McGowan Lake

Summary  Link to more information about summary

Difficulty 2 Advanced beginner
Length 3.4 miles round trip
6200 feet
+300, -300 round trip
Navigation Road
Time Few hours
Season Mid-December through early April
Snowmobiles Use Not permitted [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
7.5' series, Lassen Peak
Start McGowan Road Trailhead on Highway 89, 2.0 miles north of the junction of Highways 36 and 89, and 3.5 miles south of the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. There is a turnout, parking space, and the trailhead on the west side of the highway.

Description   Link to more information about description

McGowan Lake is an excellent destination for skiers who want to get off the main ski trail in this area. The lake is situated in a bowl and affords a pleasant setting in which to relax, eat lunch, and enjoy the sunshine. The tour to the lake is also the beginning of the longer McGowan Lake and Plantation Ridge tour.

McGowan Lake is situated on private property and although ski tourers have used the lake as a destination in the past the owners have the right to restrict entry. Please stay away from the cabin and abide by all posted notices.

Mileage Log   Link to more information about mileage log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 0.1
Elevation change: +0 

Ski west on McGowan Road for 0.1 mile until you reach the junction with Christie Hill Road (2), which is on the south (left) side of McGowan Road.

Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 0.1 -1.0
Elevation change: +50 

Ski generally west (straight) on McGowan Road for 0.9 mile until you reach the location where the road begins to descend (3). Beyond this point McGowan Road drops steadily and for beginners may be difficult when icy.

Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 1.0 - 1.2
Elevation change: -100 

Ski northwest on McGowan Road for 0.2 mile until you reach the McGowan Lake turnoff (4), which is on the north (right) side of McGowan Road. The turnoff to McGowan Lake is easily missed if you are skiing fast.

Waypoint 4 to 5
Miles: 1.2 - 1.7
Elevation change: +50, -100

Tum north (right) onto the lesser road and ski west 0.5 mile until you reach McGowan Lake (5).

Return to trailhead
Miles: 1.7 - 3.4
Elevation change: +200, -100 

Retrace the route for 1.7 miles back to the trailhead (1).

Print version of map for tour