The Hermit Road requires 4WD above 9,100' and requires some slow driving with good-clearance. There are several large pull-offs and camp spots along the road, including an excellent spot on the left, near 10,960'.
From your parking spot, hike up the Hermit Road. Pass the trail to Hermit Lake (left) near 11,400' and exit the trees near 11,900'. Zig zag north up a broad slope to reach an overlook with beautiful views of Horseshoe Lake and Eureka Mountain - 1
. Continue on the road ( 2
) for another mile to reach Hermit Pass, near 13,000' - 3
Rito Alto's south ridge is up to your right (northwest) - 4
. From the pass, leave the road and begin hiking up the south ridge - 6
. You won't find much of a trail on the remaining route there isn't much route-finding - stay on or near the ridge crest - 7
. Above 13,600' you'll reach the summit ridge ( 11
) where you can see the true summit, approx. 0.1 mile to the north. Taken from the summit, 13
looks back along the south ridge.