Crossman Peak P2K
Lizard Peak P500
Peak 1,280ft P300
Castle Rock

Wed, Dec 11, 2019

With: Jim Burd

Etymology
Castle Rock
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 4 GPXs: 1 2 Profile

Continued...

We were camped for a second night at the Lone Tree BLM CG off Arizona SR95, north of Lake Havasu City. Eric was up at 5a to begin his long drive back to Albuquerque, NM. Jim and I breakfasted in Lake Havasu before heading up to Crossman Peak. Afterwards, we parted ways while I continued to tag a trio of short peaks south of Lake Havasu City, not far from the highway. I ended the day in Parker, AZ, my last day in the state before heading back to CA.

Crossman Peak

This is the highpoint of the Mohave Mountains found north and east of Lake Havasu City. Crossman Mtn has more than 3,000ft of prominence and is not difficult to reach. A rough road goes from the northeast edge of town up the Falls Springs Wash, part of a series of jeep trails found in the area. The road up the wash originally went to the Sunshine Mine but was extended to service a telecom installation on the ridgeline above it. The road is gated and locked about 2mi below this installation, best to park where the road starts to climb out of the wash (we actually parked before this when the driving slowed to no more than what we could walk). High-clearance and 4WD recommended if you're going to drive the wash. From the telecom installation, it's less than half a mile to the summit, serviced by a very good use trail. The summit has far-reaching views, more than 50mi in all directions when we visited, probably further on clearer days. The register was very busy though it went back only a few years. The flora is more varied here than other parts of the desert we visited on this trip. There are saguaro cacti in the lower parts of the mountain, oak & joshua trees higher up, and even a few pines on the north slope just below the summit.

Lizard Peak

After getting gas and some supplies in Lake Havasu City, I headed south where this one caught my attention just outside town on the west side of the highway. I was winging this one, turning onto McCulloch Blvd S, driving into Sara Park and parking at a gravel lot with a trash can, about as close as I could get in a straight line. Only upon starting out did I realize there is a whole network of BLM trails for hiking and mountain biking throughout the area. I used a combination of trails and cross-country to make my way up to the summit, finding it busy with other visitors and a picnic table, too. There is a nice view of the town and lake. Seems there is another trailhead that could have made this an all-trail affair. Jim Retemeyer had left a GPX track on PB for this more regular route. On my way down from the summit, A couple of bighorn ewes passed over the saddle on the northeast side, seemingly unconcerned by my presence only 100ft away.

Peak 1,280ft

This was a short hike on the east side of the highway between Lake Havasu City and Parker Dam. Barbara and Gordon had logged an ascent so I thought I'd climb it to see if their register was still there. There's no real turnoff from the highway adjacent to it, but I sort of bulldozed my way at an opening in the highway fence to reach a powerline road running parallel to the highway. I found a level area 0.40mi from the summit and started from there. The area looks to have had a massive amount of rock and earth moved around that I initially thought was due to a mining operation. After climbing the summit, it was clear that a large area spanning both sides of the highway had been graded at one time, likely for a large housing development that never materialized. I found a register signed by Barbara and Gordon, but it had been left three years before their 2009 visit by a Bob Martin party. Mine was only the 4th entry. Not a much visited summit and not much to recommend it.

Castle Rock

This was the most interesting peak of the day. It rises dramatically above Parker Dam on the Arizona side, part of Buckskin Mountain State Park. The side facing the river rises vertically for several hundred feet, though probably unclimbable due to rotten volcanic rock. The southeast side has a saddle with a ridgeline that rises higher behind it, offering what looks like a possible way up. A flag can be seen flying from the top, so I figured there ought to be a way up it. I started in the Verde West RV park to the north, where a small gap in the fence provides a route into the adjacent wash. I didn't realize there is a very decent use trail leading to the summit, initially trying to hike up the wash. I found the head of the wash chocked with trees and brush and needed a different way out of the wash. I climbed a steep, loose slope on the east side of the wash, finding the use trail atop this. The trail has seen much use and much erosion, but still quite serviceable. Someone spray-painted white dots on the rock along the trail to mark it, though unnecessary. There are a few easy class 3 sections on the only solid rock to be found. It took less than 30min to find my way to the top with a spectacular view to the north of the Colorado River below Parker Dam. A large ammo box holds more than half a dozen registers, a very popular summit, it would seem. Well worth the effort to visit it if one is in the area.

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This page last updated: Wed Dec 25 11:30:06 2019
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