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Awesome views from the top of Slick Rock Dome plus wildflower meadow

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7,338' 2,237 m


6,453' 1,967 m


885' 270 m


420' 128 m



Avg Grade (7°)


Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Trailhead road Picket Pen Rd. is closed from Jan 1st to April 1st every year (dirt road in El Dorado County)

Need to Know

The Trailhead
Take Ice House Road off Highway 50 and drive 14.5 miles to the signed Picket Pen Road on the right. Picket Pen road is a combination of broken pavement, dirt and gravel. A high clearance vehicle isn't required but a low one will probably have issues. We do OK in a Subaru. Drive 3 miles and take a right hand turn uphill on broken pavement. Note there is a paved road at one mile on the right. Don’t take that. Don’t take any more turns and at about 8.5 miles you’ll get to Big Silver Creek. Park before the creek, or if you have sufficient clearance, 4WD, the right flows and the right vehicle cross it and park on the other side at the end of the road. The road becomes 4WD and ends a hundred yards or so past the creek so no big deal either way.


Take Note:
This is a bit of an adventure with a rough road approach, some scrambling and some route finding. The first mile is on a trail built by climbers.

From the trailhead run on the road past the faded red “No Motor Vehicles” post as Picket Pen road deteriorates and turns into a path, stepping over small downed trees as you go. The faint road/path heads through a broken forest, staying to the left of bushes (as opposed to heading directly toward the dome to the right). You'll pass a bushy clearing with two broken-top trees as the trail slants down to the right and you’ll see a creek with a sea of Alder trees that you’ve been cleverly avoiding. Continue downstream a short ways until the Alders cease, then step across the creek on two orange steeping stones and you’ll see granite, the toe of the dome, directly ahead through the trees.

Pick up a trail heading left (northwest) between the granite dome and the creek. Follow the trail until you come to a open area with massive boulders and downed trees. The trail heads up a dry granite boulder wash tumbling down through the bushes - look for lots of cairns. Head directly up the wash until bushes block your path, then look for a cleared trail.

Follow the trail up and left, with a few cairns showing the way and you'll reach the surprisingly large granite dome. Follow a climber's path along the bottom of the dome (north), at times scrambling. Continue up, around and to the top with great 360 degree views and an awesome view of the Sierra crest.

If you like you can continue to Morattini Flats, a wonderful quiet meadow that in the early summer has abundant wildflowers. From the summit head east a few hundred yards to the saddle between Slick Rock and the higher terrain east. Pick up a nice alpine trail and follow it for about 0.5 mile where you hit a hard-to-see T where you take a left. The trail straight leads to a private ranch at Pearl Lake so don't take that. If you can't find the left turn use a GPS/Map and just run cross country down the ridge (or bowl slightly east) to the meadow. The running is easy at this point, even cross-country, and the views are wide open.


Shared By:

Ney Grant

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2 Views Last Month
560 Since Aug 3, 2018



Slick Rock sunset
Aug 17, 2018 near South L…, CA
Slick Rock Dome from Big Hill Fire Lookout. High Sierra in background.
Aug 3, 2018 near South L…, CA
Wildflowers near a meadow.
Aug 3, 2018 near South L…, CA



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