This morning's outing was to a handful of minor summits around Desert Hot
Springs. A number of these were drive-ups, the others fairly short hikes.
All are mostly large piles of sand covering underlying rock piles of rock.
Half the fun was driving the Jeep around the backwaters of the Palm
Springs/Desert Hot Springs area north of Interstate 10.
This summit in the northwest corner of the Indio Hills has a collection
of telecom installations. The very summit is occupied by a VOR station
managed by the FAA. Much of the mountain has been used by OHVs for many
years. A poorly paved access road off Varner Rd climbs to the summit from
the southwest. There is a gate about a mile below the summit, but a
4WD vehicle can use one of several ways to bypass this and drive nearly
to the top. I parked where a wrecked vehicle occupies
space on the SEside of the VOR station. There is a
formidable fence around the summit, but erosion has created an
easyP3>crawl-through on the east side. This was
the only summit with more than 300ft of prominence.
Flat Top Mountain
This is a hill, not a mountain, the diminuitive neighbor to
Edom Hill, across Varner Rd to the west. I parked on
Varner Rd and hiked the half mile distance to the summit through a small
nature preserve on the east side of the mountain. In
hindsight, I think this is a drive-up via the
utility road that follows the transmission lines over
the summit. There's a wreck
near the summit of this one, too.
This little bump is found in the town of Desert Hot Springs, on its SE
side. It is covered in residential parcels, but
the highest plots have not yet been developed. The highpoint
is most easily accessed from the south side off
Monterey Rd, but I used the cul-de-sac at the end of Oris Dr on
the north side. Either works.
Found a few miles southwest of Desert Hot Springs, there are numerous
surrounding the hill, though none on it. Various dirt roads can
get one quite close, though there is another formidable fence on
the east side where I approached from. Again, erosion
under the fence made access easy. Kind of a lame summit,
truth be told. Lots of trash dumped in the
area, too. Afterwards, I found while driving the powerline road on the
north side of the hill, that the access gates
through the fence on both
sides of the enclosed area were wide open. Not really sure why the fence
is there, but it seems they might have planned a solar installation here
at one time, or perhaps they just haven't yet gotten around to starting
This larger hill is found at the junction of I-10 and SR62. Driving west
from Devers Hill, I found a sandy wash I could
P27>drive under SR62 to reach
Whitewater Hill. A paved road goes up the east side of the hill,
but is gated
fairly low on the hill where a few homesteads are found. I parked
the Jeep and hiked up the paved road to the summit, about 2/3mi away.
There are windmills
all over the hill, both large, modern ones, and older,
smaller one. The highpoint is occupied by a trio of
overlooking the Interstate below to
the south, and across to the North
Face of San Jacinto.
Garnet Hill - Bernardo Hill
Garnet Hill is found on the south side of Interstate-10, east of the
Indian Canyon Rd exit. Jeep roads
throughout this small group of hills
allows one to drive right to the summit.
Bernardo Hill is a PB-only
summit at the east end of the hills, also a drive-up.