The hike to San Joaquin Mountain, at its longest, starts from Minaret Vista just above Mammoth Mountain. With a 4WD vehicle you can drive the first ~1.5 miles and cut off some time. The hike along the road is easy, though.
Hiking along the road. I probably could have driven my outback in here, but I wasn't sure of the road conditions so I just walked it.
The view stays mostly the same, but it's a good one! Minarets, Banner, and Ritter
I chose this peak since I was a bit tired from Cloudripper the previous day. I wanted something I could walk up without a mental challenge of routefinding. This fit the bill - put one foot in front of the other and follow the road!
Love the views
Looking back on Mammoth Mountain. Skiing in the winter, mountain biking in the summer.
Getting to the road's high point.
Now I can see Two Teats, the peak that blocks the view of San Joaquin.
More Minarets, Banner, and Ritter.
At the end of the road at Dead Man summit. From here, it's single track trail along the ridge.
Minaret view from the end of the road.
Two Teats and San Joaquin straight ahead. Unfortunately the trail drops about 300 ft here before climbing back up the ridge. Remember that for your return hike, bleh.
Following the single track up the ridge.
Say it with me now...Minarets, Ritter, Banner
The trail wiggles over some intermediate high points.