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La Cima later climbed Wed, Jan 5, 2022|
Most of the economic activity centers on an area close to SR269, which connects Avenal (a state prison town) with I-5. After the first mile on Skyline Rd, there's a good chance you'll see no one. The area used to be signed for Permission to Pass Revocable at Any Time, but I noticed there were two newer No Trespassing signs off the highway, right as one nears the main facilities. The north and east sides of the range have most of the petroleum stuff. Most of it is rusted and abandoned, and the place looks pretty trashed with old pipes all over the place. I saw only a few active wellheads, most have been removed or no longer operating. The main roads are in decent shape that any vehicle can navigate. The lesser roads tend to be overgrown, but the Jeep had no issues. Depending on your vehicle, you may have more or less walking to do. The west and south sides of the range are devoted to cattle grazing. A number of the peaks on the crest of the range straddle the two economic use areas. Most of the gates between them were locked, but at least one was just latched and allowed me to drive to the summits, or very close. I had hoped to exit to the south at Kettleman City, but found the overpass gated and locked, and could see no clear way to exit from that side, now mostly cattle country (later, I found that it appears Bullwheel Ridge Rd might allow one to connect to SR41 to the south). I ended up having to drive all the way back out to the north at SR269, costing me about an hour and a half. So it goes. I spent more than four hours in the area and was happy that nobody sent me packing. Not a Wilderness experience, to be sure, but if you go in looking for a history lesson, it's not all bad...
This page last updated: Mon Jan 10 18:48:08 2022
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