Blue Ridge P900 ESS

Wed, Oct 2, 2013
Story Photos / Slideshow Map


I had to be home in San Jose in the afternoon, so I was looking to visit a few easy summits on my way back from Mountain Home State Forest.

Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge, with a bit over 900ft of prominence, lies in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada a few miles outside the southwest corner of Sequoia National Park. A paved road leads to the summit where there is a communications complex and several dozen summer homes. A Forest Service lookout used to be located here, but it has been displaced by the towers. Some remnants still remain. There are two sets of class 3 summit rocks vying for the highpoint. The easternmost point is the toughest with a large, refrigerator-sized rock sitting atop a larger one. A Forest Service benchmark from 1954 is found at the top. The western summit rocks are set behind the towers, crowned with the remains of a small brick building with a dilapidated roof whose purpose is elusive. It was probably constructed back before the towers for use with the lookout that once stood nearby. On a good day the views are probably pretty good, but today, even in the early morning hour that I was there, the Central Valley haze obscured much of it.

Battle Mountain

About halfway between Mountain Home and Blue Ridge is Battle Mountain, a bump rising from the valley formed by the North Fork of the Tule River. It's not even 3,000ft in height and has barely 300ft of prominence. There is a monument to the mountain and the "battle" that took place there in 1856. During a period of unrest with some stolen cattle and a burned sawmill, some settlers banded together to drive out a contingent of 700 indians holed up on the mountain. Unable to breach the defenses, they called in the army which showed up with some howitzers to drive them further into the hills. A few casualties resulted. Anyway, my interest lay in the fact that of the three Battle Mountains in California, I had already visited one and wanted to add another to my collection. Unfortunately, the mountain lies on private property and my attempts from two directions were rebuffed. Not that I actually ran into anyone, but the Battle Mountain Ranch on the eastside approach from Balch Park Rd looked serious and active, and it seemed unwise to breach their fences in broad daylight. Another approach from the south was going well until the road ended in private property and someone's homestead while still several miles from the mountain. Thinking a nighttime visit would probably be less stressful, I decided to call it a day and drive home...

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