Tamarack Campground Road

Summary  Link to more information about summary

Difficulty 2 Beginner-intermediate
Length 8.4 miles round trip
6200 feet
+1100, -1100 round trip
Navigation Road and marked trail
Time Most of a day
Season December through early April
Snowmobiles Use Not permitted [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Ackerson Mountain
Start Crane Flat winter parking area on Highway 120 (Tioga Pass Road), 0.6 mile north of Big Oak Flat Road. Trailhead is 0.2 mile northeast where Tioga Pass Road is closed.

Description   Link to more information about description

Most guides of one form or another describe the tour on Tioga Pass Road or to Gin Flat and in passing mention that skiers can also explore Tamarack Campground Road. The campground road deserves more comment because it is an excellent alternative for extending the tour after arriving at Gin Flat.

Unlike Tioga Pass Road, Tamarack Campground Road is narrow and winds through timber, rocks and small knobs. There are no vista points along the campground road until you reach the destination, but the skiing seems more intimate, and you are more than likely to find yourself alone here.

Image from destination of tour
Looking east from destination

The tour described here ends where the road first exits the trees with a view to the east of a burnt-out ridge. The 8.4 miles round trip to this point is long for a beginner-intermediate tour, but that rating is assigned to this tour due to the mild slopes and easy to follow roads.

Image of decapitated trees
Decapitated trees a short distance to the east of the destination

The Devils Dance Floor tour is an extension of the Tamarack Campground Road tour. That tour is much more difficult with challenges due to navigation and terrain. Devils Dance Floor is also an amazing place.

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 - 0.3
Elevation change: +100 feet

From the trailhead (1) follow snow-covered Tioga Pass Road for 0.3 mile until you reach Old Big Oak Flat Road (2) on the north (left) side. Both Tioga Pass Road and Old Big Oak Flat Road are marked with the numeral 4.

Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 0.3 - 3.0
Elevation change: +700 feet

Continue of Tioga pass road for 2.7 miles until your reach the southwest end of Gin Flat (3), which is the first level area you will encounter after leaving the trailhead.

Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 3.0 - 4.2
Elevation change: +100, -200 feet

At the southwest end of Gin Flat turn southeast (right) onto Tamarack Campground Road and follow it for 1.2 miles until you reach the location where the road exits the woods just east of Peak 7069 (4). This point is unmistakable.

Return to trailhead
Miles: 4.2 - 8.4
Elevation change: +200, -900 feet

Retrace the route for 4.2 miles back to the trailhead (1).

Print version of map for tour