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The climb up Mount Lola guides hikers from Perazzo Meadows, through Cold Stream Meadow, between gnarled, stunted trees and finally above the trees at its 9,143-foot tall summit.

A steep hike, gaining 2,600 feet in 5.5 miles, it's also rewarding, thanks to both the unimpeded summit views and the many great stops along the way. Near the half way point, hikers will traverse Cold Stream Meadow - where late-season wildflowers like paintbrush and lupine are still in bloom. The Land Trust, working with the Trust for Public Land, acquired the 1,174-acre meadow in 2010. From there, the trail climbs steeply to the summit through gnarled trees stunted by the region's winter storms to the summit - the tallest in Nevada County.

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Cold Stream Meadow offers a great stop on the Mt. Lola Trail. Photo by Geoff Griffin.

Views from the top stretch out to Independence Lake, White Rock Lake, Sierra Buttes, Stampede Reservoir and Castle Peak.

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The summit of Mt. Lola from the air.

Mt. Lola is named for a famous 19th century Irish dancer Lola Montez, who lived with her third husband, Patrick Hull, in Grass Valley after a previous marrage to the King of Bavaria, Ludwig 1.

Want to join a docent-led hike on Mt. Lola?

A hiker at the summit of Mt. Lola, with Castle Peak in the background.

A hiker at the summit of Mt. Lola, with Castle Peak in the background.

To reach the trailhead: Take Highway 89 North of Truckee 17 miles to the Jackson Meadows Road and turn left. After 1.5 miles, make a left for Independence Lake, and in another .5 miles, take a right at the first and only intersection. This is historic Henness Pass Road, although it’s signed as “Sierra County Route 301.”  Follow Henness Pass for 3.2 miles and pull into the Mount Lola trailhead parking lot on your left, marked by a sign. You likely won’t have cell service after you leave Truckee, so consult your map in advance.

Greyson Howard