|Length||11.2 miles round trip to Peak 6647|
|+1700, -1700 round trip to Peak 6647|
|Navigation||Road and map|
|Time||Full day to Peak 6647|
|Season||Mid-December through early April|
|Snowmobiles Use||Not permitted [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]|
|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.|
This is probably the most interesting intermediate tour in the area. It combines easy skiing along roads with a delightful climb along a ridge. For most of the distance the ridge is broad. However, in a few places the ridge is narrow and the skiing is tricky.
The ridge and its high points offer many fine vistas, which include Brokeoff Mountain, Lassen Peak, and Mt. Conard. It is not necessary to ascend to the summit of Peak 6647 to enjoy the great views.
Of course, the highlight for you may be the return descent along the ridge. You may also want to enjoy practicing your downhill techniques on the slopes that descend into Plantation Gulch.
Advanced-intermediate skiers may want to consider a variation of this tour: the McGowan Lake and Plantation Ridge Loop tour.
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 for 1.9 miles 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 - 2.9
Elevation change: -450
Ski generally southwest (straight) on McGowan Road for 1.7 miles until you reach the junction with Nanny Creek Road (5), which is on the southeast (left) side of McGowan Road.
Waypoint 5 to 6
Miles: 2.9 - 3.9
Elevation change: +150
Ski generally southwest (straight) on McGowan Road for 1.0 miles until you reach a road junction (6). At the junction the fairly obvious road on the north (right) side of McGowan Road ascends toward Plantation Ridge.
Waypoint 6 to 7
Miles: 3.9 - 4.5
Elevation change: +450
Turn north (right) off McGowan Road onto a lesser road and ski up a broad ridge for 0.6 mile until you reach a high point (7). Don't worry if you can't follow the road; just head north on the broad ridge.
Waypoint 7 to 8
Miles: 4.5 - 5.0
Elevation change: +200, - 50
Ski northeast along the ridge for 0.5 mile until you reach a second high point (8).
Waypoint 8 to 9
Miles: 5.0 - 5.6
Elevation change: +250, - 50
Ski northeast along the ridge for 0.6 mile until you reach Peak 6647 (9). Because part of the ridge is very narrow, the skiing is easiest along the open terrain of its west (left) side.
Return to trailhead
Miles: 5.6 - 11.2
Elevation change: +650, -1050
Retrace the route for 5.6 miles back to the trailhead (1).