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Nicolls Peak


Location: Kern County, about 3 miles south of the town of Weldon, 175 miles from Los Angeles


Auto Club Kern County
Forest Service Sequoia National Forest
USGS Topos Woolstalf Creek 7½, Weldon 7½
Official HPS Maps TPO file - Save to your computer then open with National Geographic TOPO!
  Viewable JPG file - Approximately 1.4 megs
  GPX file or Google Earth KML file to download to GPS units and other map software (How to use GPX and KML files)
  Routes as shown on CalTopo using the above files (How to use CalTopo)

Nearby Peaks: Heald Peak

Printable version of this route


Distance: 3 miles round trip cross-country
Gain: 2000'
Time: 5-6 hours round trip
Rating: Class 2, strenuous, summit area is class 2
Navigation: Difficult

Original: John Backus, October 1987


  • Start at SR 178 at Kernville Airport Road junction.
  • Go 0.2 mile west to Vista Grande Road and turn left. Mark odometers at the intersection of Vista Grande and SR 178.
  • 0.0 Go south on Vista Grande.
  • In 0.5 mile, pavement ends at Bella Vista. Go straight.
  • In 0.3 mile, intersect Hill View Acres Road. Go right.
  • In 0.8 mile, intersect Brooks Road. Go left.
  • Proceed on Brooks Road past "El Rancho Poco" and several intersections to the "W" ranch.
  • In 1.2 miles take left fork at a sign "BLM Access". Follow a fence on the left.
  • In 0.1 mile; intersection - turn sharp left on Last Chance Trail. 4WD is probably required for the remainder of the drive.
  • In 0.1 mile, go right on Last Chance Trail (avoid taking Miners Gulch trail).
  • In 0.1 mile, fork. (Turn off for Heald Peak). Go left.
  • In 0.1 mile, fork. Go left.
  • In 1.5 mile, end of road just past a fence. Park here (3950').

Note: There are multiple confusing roads. The BLM has added road names that are shown on our latest map. Check your mileages going in and coming out.


  • From the cars observe the saddle just south (right) of the summit. This is the low point between Heald and Nicolls.
  • Follow a trail easterly for a short ways until you see a tree on the north side of the wide wash.
  • Leave the trail here and proceed northerly until you gain the wash on the north side of the wide wash. Follow this wash until you are just south-southwest of the saddle.
  • Head up toward the saddle.
  • At the saddle proceed north (left) until you encounter ducks.
  • Follow a well-ducked use trail northerly, contouring around the east side of some rocky terrain.
  • Follow the ducks, scrambling over or around rocky outcrops to the summit.
  • The southernmost summit is the high point.

This peak can be combined with Heald Peak. See Route 2 for Heald Peak.

Learn more about Nicolls Peak.

Please report any corrections or changes to the Mountain Records Chair.

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