|Length||8.4 miles round trip|
|+1200, -1200 feet|
|Navigation||Road and marked trail|
|Season||December through mid-April|
|USGS Topo||7.5' series, Tragedy Spring and Leek Spring Hill|
|Start||Iron Mountain Sno-Park, 0.3 mile north of Highway 88 on Mormon Emigrant Trail. Moron Emigrant Trail is located 4.9 miles east of Peddler Hill Maintenance Station and 7.0 miles west of the Silver Lake dam. A Sno-Park permit must be purchased in advance.|
The expansive views in all directions from lookout atop Leek Spring Hill are breathtaking. They include Pyramid Peak and the Crystal Range to the north, Thimble Peak and Round Top to the east, and Mokelumne Peak to the south.
This tour might well be more popular than the one to Woods Lake if it were not for the snowmobiles that use this route; on weekends the Sno-Park is popular snowmobile staging area. Don't rule it out completely because of the snowmobiles, but come mid-week when there are few. The route is especially pretty after a new snowfall.
Aside from the views you get from the lookout, you can enjoy the powder that is often found on the north side of Leek Spring Hill. The steep slope to the north will challenge your ability to control your speed while negotiating dense woods.
Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 0.8
Elevation change: +150, -100 feet
From Iron Mountain Sno-Park (1) ski west on Mormon Emigrant Trail for 0.8 mile until you reach the turnoff for Plummer Ridge (2). The turnoff is located where the groomed snowmobile trail leaves Mormon Emigrant Trail and climbs steeply.
Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 0.8 - 1.5
Elevation change: +100, -100 feet
Continue on Mormon Emigrant Trail to the northwest for 0.7 mile until you reach the junction with Leek Spring Road (3).
Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 1.5 - 2.9
Elevation change: +100, -200 feet
Turn west (left) onto Leek Spring Road and follow it for 1.4 miles until you reach the junction with Foster Meadow Road (4). At the junction you will also find a groomed snowmobile trail heading east over Plummer Ridge.
Waypoint 4 to 5
Miles: 2.9 - 4.2
Elevation change: +400, -50 feet
Continue west (straight) on Leek Spring Road for 1.3 miles until you reach the lookout atop Leek Spring Hill (5). Along this section you will pass two ungroomed roads on your left, but you will probably not notice them.
In this area the terrain allows you to leave the groomed road and pick your own route. Unfortunately snowmobile tracks often crisscross the slopes.
Return to trailhead
Miles: 4.2 - 8.4
Elevation change: +450, -750 feet
Retrace the route for 4.2 miles back to Iron Mountain Sno-Park (1).