Keddie Peak P2K
Keddie Ridge P900
Mosquito Ridge P900
Peak 6,112ft P1K
Rush Hill P1K
Kettle BM P2K
Wheeler Peak P1K

Mon, Jul 2, 2018

With: Jackie Burd

Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 4 5 GPXs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Profiles: 1 2 3


Day 2 of our trip in Plumas National Forest was a bonanza, rounding up seven summits with prominence of more than 900ft, two of them P2Ks. Most of them were drive ups, or nearly so, but the day was not without some good exercise.

Keddie Peak

This was the only real hike I had expected for the day. We used the regular approach described in a number of PB reports, starting from Forest Road 28N60 to the east. Spur road 28N60A can cut off 3/4 of the 2.5mi distance to the summit, but this has been closed to motor vehicles, sort of. Large rocks were placed across the road, but one was moved (by a discgruntled local, no doubt) to allow ATVs and possibly Jeeps to access the road. I considered driving it only briefly as it is pretty overgrown and certainly not intended to be used anymore. We parked and did the standard hike up to just past the highpoint of the road, before it starts dropping down to Homer Lake on the other side of the broad saddle. Some of the trip reports on PB described heavy brush on the half mile of cross-country, but we found nothing of the sort. Perhaps we just got lucky. We started up one old logging road, finding another when that ran out, and then easy cross-country that led to a fun little rock scramble that took us up to the ridgeline. From there we stayed on the right side of the ridge as we made our way along talus and (mostly) low brush to reach the summit rocks, class 2 for the last 100ft or so. We took about an hour and a half to reach the summit, a nice little workout. Good views from the open summit, with Lake Almanor visible to the northwest and Mountain Meadow Reservoir to the northeast. Daryn Dodge had left a register in 2013, and with its P2K status, it was not surprising to see six pages of entries over the last five years. Buried a little deeper in the summit cairn was an older register in a glass jar from 2002. Having such luck on our ascent, we followed the same route very closely on the descent, taking a little over an hour and getting us back by 10a.

Keddie Ridge

We next spent about 40min driving to the highpoint of Keddie Ridge, a P900, some 4.5mi SE of Keddie Peak. Good roads took us most of the way, then lesser roads to get within a few hundred feet of the highpoint. It looked like it might be brushy getting to the top so Jackie elected to stay in the Jeep while I went tromping off through the brush. It turned out to be rather easy, just some low manzanita to step over and then gaps in the bigger stuff to get to the open summit. It, too, had good views, though perhaps not quite as nice as Keddie Peak.

Mosquito Ridge

We drove back down to SR89, then north to the small community of Canyondam, located at the south end of Lake Almanor, below the earthen dam. From there we headed west on 12mi of dirt roads towards the highpoint of Mosquito Ridge, another P900. This was supposed to be another near drive up, but we found the road blocked by some large downfall. The area had burned in the past few years and while there appears to have been some salvage logging, there are many snags still standing and many across the road. At this point we were 1.5mi from the summit so I decided to park the Jeep and walk. Jackie elected to stay in the car again. Most of the hike was along the continuing road, the hardest part at the beginning where I had to get through about a dozen downed trees. The last half mile was cross-country, made easier by the fire where the brush had not yet had time to grow sufficiently to become troublesome. The views were so-so, peering through snags surrounding a broad summit. I was back to the Jeep just about an hour after I'd left. Jackie had the engine and AC running to keep cool - it was getting pretty warm outside and there had been no shade under which to park the Jeep.

Peak 6,112ft

Another hour's driving back towards Lake Almanor, all on dirt roads, got us close to the summit of this P1K. This time there was shade to park under. I went alone to the highpoint, about 1/6mi to the west. Less than ten minute's effort over easy terrain got me to the highpoint where I found a John Vitz register from 2012. All the other entries were accidental finds - until I showed up. No good views from the summit, though there are some pleasant views of Lake Almanor on the drive to reach it.

Rush Hill

5.5mi SE of Peak 6,112ft and 45min more driving found us at the summit of Rush Hill. Jackie had taken over the driving duties which she found quite enjoyable. While she was turning the Jeep around, I wandered through the flatish summit area (poor views here too) until I found another Vitz register from the same date in 2012.

Kettle BM

Jackie gave up driving duties and was not long in losing herself in a deep nap. It took almost two hours to drive from Rush Hill to Kettle BM, about 18mi to the west. We had to drop all the way back down to SR89, then more forest road driving to climb back up to Kettle BM. The last few miles were rough which woke Jackie from her slumber. She was pretty nervous for the last several hundred yards where the road becomes steep and rocky with a few hairpin turns. I managed to get the Jeep to just below the summit, leaving us only a short walk. This was probably the most impressive summit of the day, another P2K, with even better views than Keddie Peak. There is a small telecom installation at the highpoint which Jackie couldn't resist climbing. Good fun.

Wheeler Peak

Though only 3.5mi SE of Kettle BM, it took us nearly an hour of driving to get as close to the summit as we could manage, about 3/4mi on the southwest side. The last several miles of road were quite overgrown, causing some stress. Jackie had taken over driving, but wasn't too happy with Dad's criticism (Dad would have called it "instruction" but that's a quibble). She gave me the wheel back as it became clear the road was not improving and I drove it the last mile to where it dead-ended. Jackie was not interested in following me up this one, so I struck off solo, cross-country, climbing 600ft in about 20min at a pretty fast pace to reach the summit. Up until the last minute it appeared the top would be buried in forest, but a rock outcrop proved to be the highpoint offering partial views above the surrounding forest. I beat a quick retreat to keep Jackie from having to wait any longer than necessary, getting back a bit after 7p.

It would take us more than an hour to get back to our rustic lodge in Greenville, by which time the town had rolled up the sidewalks. We ended up scrounging for food from the bin I had brought from home, an odd mix of vienna sausage, ramen, fruitecups, cookies and the like. It would do after a long day...


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