Tony Krizan

The Mount Lola adventure

White Rock Lake.
White Rock Lake. Special to the Sierra Star

Most mountains in California have names identifying those few men that achieved popularity from their achievements. There are mountains identified by elevation. Continue searching and there are a few mountains named after famous women, such as Amelia Earhart Peak located in Yosemite National Park or Marian LeConte in Central California.

I chose to introduce to you another mountain peak located in Northern California called Mount Lola. This class-2 peak is named after Lola Montez, a famous entertainer during the 1800s. Lola Montez’s real name was Marie Doloras Eliza Rosanne Gilbert or Elizabeth Rosanna Gilbert. She was a dancer, entertainer, and lecturer. She was born in Grange County Sligo, Ireland on Feb. 17, 1821 and died Jan. 17, 1861, in New York City.

She spent time entertaining in Germany, Switzerland, France, London, and Australia. She also spent quality time entertaining in California. From 1853 to 1855, she owned a home in Grass Valley, California, close to the location of Mount Lola.

Her mountain trailhead is located north of Truckee, at White Rock Lake.

Fred Cochran, his daughter Joanne Queiroz, and friend Heather Rand, Clem Bingham and I departed Oakhurst at 6 a.m. and arrived at White Rock Lake and trailhead around 1:30 p.m.

We were told in Truckee that an early snowstorm passed through a week before. Our campsite was north of the White Rock Lake dam with snow still covering the camping area. It was a cold night around freezing but the next day was clear and warm with temperatures around 58 degrees for the climb to the summit.

Before relaxing around a warm campfire, we looked for the trail that led to the summit located somewhere on the south end of the lake. Snow increased the mystery of the trail location.

As daylight peeked through the tree cover around 6:30 a.m. and with temperatures in the low 30s, we started our climb to the summit of Mount Lola.

We hiked across the dam and the trail started gently climbing through tree cover for roughly a mile before entering a snowless meadow. The trail starts increasing in elevation following the Cold Creek drainage. Once on the summit, a sign identified elevation at9,143 feet.

Another surprise was two structures someone built (who knows when) on the summit. Probably for safety reasons if an early season snowstorm delays a hiker’s departure.

This hike is rated as a class 2 but be prepared for the increase in elevation. My suggestion is best to spend the night at White Rock Lake and proceed the following morning. It’s too late for hiking this season, wait until June through September when the snow has melted and temperatures are much warmer. This is a challenging adventure, but the rewards are at the summit.