The initial climb up a granite headwall follows the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) (no bikes) and although it switchbacks steadily up, the grades are moderate and the views offer great reasons to pause. The PCT straightens out and crosses a logging road just before reaching a Sugar Bowl ski lift overhead. To loop clockwise, turn left (east) on the road to follow up to Cold Stream Pass on the California Emigrant Trail (see Scenic Drives and brochure for discussion). Cold Stream Pass was used by wagons looking for a less rocky crossing than the horrific Donner Pass. Steel rail markers have been placed to indicate each of the Emigrant Trail locations. From here the Mount Judah hiking trail climbs right (south) over Mount Judah with magnificent views and seasonal wildflowers everywhere. Continuing south over the broad gentle shoulders of Mount Judah the trail drops into Roller Pass, the third trail option used by the emigrant wagons. A sign displays how wagons were pulled up the last steep segment by spanning from natural spiral-rock formations or trees with logs to form "rollers" (see brochure). Here the hiking trail reconnects to the PCT and loops back north (right) to the parking area.
Topographic map: Norden. Follow Pacific Crest Trail south and then follow Mount Judah signs. Looping in either direction is okay.