Spanish Peak from Silver Lake up-and-back
7.2 miles 1400' elevation gain season: Aug-Oct (but not if snow below 7000')
Map in High
This a very nice, balanced dayhike, with some lake views, some summit views, and some nice old growth red fir forest. There is no drinking water, unless you make a side trip to one of the lakes or down to Pebble Spring.
From Gold Lake Trailhead, the trail heads east along the Silver Lake dam past a faint spur trail that continues along the lakeshore, and up a glacial moraine to the junction with the Gold Lake Trail. Continue up the moderate ascent to the spur trail to Rock Lake, and then steeply up the rocky trail until finally leveling out at the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail, two miles from, and 1000' above, the trailhead.
Go left on the PCT along the forested gentle ridge, past the junction with the Right Hand Creek Trail, and on to the spur trail to Spanish Peak. Turn left and walk the short nearly flat distance to the summit of Spanish Peak, where the land drops off below you and wide-ranging views of the northernmost Sierra Nevada and southernmost Cascade Range are yours.
When ready, retrace your steps to the trailhead.