Pilots Peak

Consensus:    (details)
  4.3 from 3 votes
blue  Intermediate from 2 votes
Rank: #6 in the High Sierra area
#131 in CA, #1,142 Overall
Views: 2,317. Last 30 days: 50
Condition Details | Update
Featured Ride in the area near Midpines,
“Ride to the top of Pilots Peak to get a 360 view of Yosemite and Stanislaus National Forest.”
Tom Wilson on Jun 2, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
15.224.4 milesKilometers 2,238’682 m Ascent 6,010’1,832 m High 6% Avg Grade (3°)
0% Singletrack -2,223’-678 m Descent 4,179’1,274 m Low 27% Max Grade (15°)
1:55 average time for 17.5 miles. Details

Ride along forest service roads where you'll gain 2200 feet in elevation to get to the top of Pilots Peak. Once you gain the ridge, you'll be able to get great views of the surrounding area. Pilots Peak is the largest peak outside of Yosemite on the Highway 120 Corridor.
Need To Know
Stop at rainbow pools on your way back down the hill for a refreshing swim!
Head up highway 120 and take a right on Hardin flat road. Keep going straight past Yosemite Lakes campground. Once you get into a dirt road, Follow FS 1S12 for a few miles. You can park your car along this road and get off whenever you like.

Start ascending up forest service roads. There are multiple ways to get to the top, but we found that 1S12 is the easiest ascent and you can take multiple different trails downhill which are steeper and have much sharper turns. 1S12 will take you to the top of the ridge, from here take a right on 2S01 which turns into a dirt road that will bring you to the peak.

At the peak, there is a look out tower that you can go to the top of if there is a worker there. We met a nice lady who let us sign the guest book and pointed out all the different mountain ranges surrounding us. Here you'll get a 360 view of Yosemite, Highway 108, Highway 120 and Highway 140 areas all the way back to Groveland, CA.

There is a vast network of forest service roads that you can choose to go down from. We decided to go down 2S25 to 2S64 which brought us back to 1S12 and our car. All the road intersections are nicely marked. Use the MTB Project mobile app!
History & Background
Groveland Ranger District, 6,004' elevation. Forest maps show a lookout on Pilot Peak as early as 1909. The current tower was erected in 1963, replacing earlier versions. Pilot Peak is staffed every fire season, as it commands a view across most of the Groveland District, into Yosemite National Park and the Sierra National Forest.
Pilot Peak Fire Lookout
View in 3D
Forecasting the weather...
4.5 (2)
An epic long distance loop ride dropping into the Tuolumne Canyon with great ...
near Tuolumne City, CA
4.0 (1)
Forest Service Roads to the top of Saw Mill Mountain. Awesome view of surrou...
near Midpines, CA
4.0 (1)
View Groveland from Smith Peak lookout on Forest Service Roads and singletrack.
near Tuolumne City, CA

Your To-Do List: Not on it   Add it! | Your Full List ›
Your Check-Ins:
Add a New Check-In | View All ›
Your Opinion:
Difficulty: -none- Change to: greengreenBlueblueblueBlackblackdoubleblack
Share This Page
Improve This Page
Add Photo or Map Symbol
Edit Description or GPS track

PHOTOS of Pilots Peak
  3.8 from 4 votes
On the way up to Pilot Peak, great views into Yosemite. (Midpines, CA)
  3.5 from 4 votes
View on the ride up to Pilots Peak. Nice gradual forest service dirt an... (Midpines, CA)
  3.3 from 4 votes
View of Yosemite Mountains from Pilot Peak look out tower (Midpines, CA)
  3.0 from 4 votes
View of the ride on the way up to Pilots Peak on forest service dirt roads. (Midpines, CA)
  3.0 from 3 votes
View of 2S01 dirt road that we rode up on our way to the top of pilots p... (Midpines, CA)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Panoramic view from the Pilot's Peak look out tower (Midpines, CA)
  2.8 from 4 votes
View on the way back down riding on 2s25 ridge. View is back into Grove... (Midpines, CA)
  2.7 from 3 votes
Ben Dudek shredding hard on the descent from pilots peak. (Midpines, CA)
  2.7 from 3 votes
View of trail on the descent from Pilots Peak (Midpines, CA)
  2.7 from 3 votes
On the way back to the car on FS 2S25 (Midpines, CA)