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Carson Pass

With an elevation of 8,652 feet, Carson Pass is the highest point along California SR 88, and is a very popular trailhead for hiking in the Eldorado National Forest and the Mokelumne Wilderness. With proper timing (usually mid to late July, depending on snowfall), hikers can gaze upon beautiful wildflower displays and relax by several snow-fed alpine lakes. The name of this mountain pass honors Kit Carson, the famed frontiersman who guided John C. Fremont through California and Oregon in the 1840s.

Wildflowers cover the hillside beneath Round Top, the highest peak in the Mokelumne Wilderness.  Carson Pass, Eldorado National Forest, Alpine County, CA.  Stock Photo ID=SCE0053
Giant red Indian paintbrush and lupine wildflowers cover the hillside beneath Round Top just after sunrise. Round Top is a remnant volcano whose 10,364-foot peak towers over the Mokelumne Wilderness. Carson Pass, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Alpine County, California, USA.
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Round Top Creek cascades at dusk.  Carson Pass, Eldorado National Forest, Mokelumne Wilderness, Sierra Nevada, Alpine County, California, USA.  Stock Photo ID=SCE0214
Round Top Creek cascades at dusk. This is just one of many picturesque landscapes hikers can enjoy while traversing the Lost Cabin Mine Trail from Woods Lake to Round Top Lake. Carson Pass, Eldorado National Forest, Mokelumne Wilderness, Sierra Nevada, Alpine County, California, USA.
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A kayaker paddles across Woods Lake, near Carson Pass.  Eldorado National Forest, Alpine County, CA.  Stock Photo ID=SCE0156
A visitor paddles her kayak across Woods Lake while taking in the beautiful scenic view of pine trees, lichen-encrusted granite and a small, cascading waterfall. Woods Lake is only a few miles from Carson Pass and is often used as an alternate trailhead for Winnemucca Lake and Round Top. Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Alpine County, California, USA.
SCE0156

Sierra juniper (Juniperus grandis).  Carson Pass, Eldorado National Forest, Alpine County, CA. Stock Photo ID=PLA0321
An ancient Sierra juniper (Juniperus grandis) stretches out in all directions with gnarled limbs. Carson Pass, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Alpine County, California, USA.
PLA0321

Sierra juniper (Juniperus grandis).  Carson Pass, Eldorado National Forest, Alpine County, CA. Stock Photo ID=PLA0322
Sierra juniper (Juniperus grandis) emerging from a huge granite boulder, where few other plants would stand a chance. Carson Pass, Eldorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada, Alpine County, California, USA.
PLA0322

**Please note that you are currently in landscape gallery. If you are looking for more wildflower pictures from Carson Pass, please visit our flora gallery. Alternatively, you could check out our photographic wildflower guide the next time you visit the Carson Pass Information Station.**

Next: Carson Spur



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All images copyright Timothy Boomer. All rights reserved worldwide.