“A mix of trails and roads leading to an off-trail scramble to two nice summits.”
From the trailhead at the base of Spruce Creek Road #800
, follow the road up to the junction with Aqueduct Road
, and head towards Francies Cabin. Turn left on Crystal Lakes Road #803
, and follow the road up to Lower Crystal Lake.
Just before you reach the lake, leave the road, and use the faint trail to the left and your routefinding abilities to ascend to the ridge below Father Dyer Peak. Scramble from Father Dyer Peak to Crystal Peak, then to the saddle between Crystal Peak and Peak 10. At the saddle, descend to Crystal Lakes Trail #44
, and then to Crystal Lakes Road #803
which will take you back to the trailhead.
Check out the photos for this run for some additional info on what to expect and how to navigate the unmarked sections.
This trail includes both possible approaches from the Spruce Creek Road #800
winter trailhead to the area near Francies Cabin. I took Spruce Creek Road #800
on the way up and Crystal Lakes Road #803
on the way down. Spruce Creek Road is a bit longer, but not as steep as Crystal Lakes Road. In the summer, it is possible to park farther up Spruce Creek Road, which would take about 2.0 miles off the total run, but you probably want a 4WD vehicle to get up to the upper lot.
From near Francies Cabin, continue up Crystal Lakes Road #803
towards Lower Crystal Lake. Just before the lake, you can head left on an unmarked trail to continue up this route or head right on Crystal Lakes Trail #44
to run up to Upper Crystal Lake. From this point, you have a very good view of Father Dyer Peak to your left.
To continue on this route, head left up the trail a short ways and then cut off to the right towards some steep grassy ledges to reach the ridge. Scramble and run steeply up the ridge to the summit of Father Dyer Peak. I stayed fairly close to the ridgeline other than a couple places where I traversed down and around larger features. There are some 3rd class moves but nothing too exposed. Try to stay on the ridge as much as possible. The route finding is not very tricky. At times, there is a faint trail.
From the summit of Father Dyer, traverse the ridge on relatively flat but somewhat loose ground. Stay on the ridge all the way to the summit of Crystal Peak. Take in the views and head down the ridge line in the other direction with a clear view of Upper Crystal Lake until you reach the saddle between Crystal Peak and Peak 10. Head down steep grassy and rocky terrain until meeting up with Crystal Lakes Trail #44
just to the east of Upper Crystal Lake. Take this trail back to Lower Crystal Lake to meet back up with the approach.