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After starting the last two mornings in sub-freezing temps, we'd come down to Yuma in search of warmer temps. It was about 5 degrees warmer than in Kofa, and we slept better. Today we visited the Muggins Mountains east of Yuma and Dome Valley in search of the Muggins Wilderness HP, Klothos Temple. Nearby is Muggins Peak, a more formidable peak that is featured in Purcell's Rambles & Scrambles. Eric would do the first peak and skip the second, leaving me to do it on my own. Both peaks can be accessed from the Muggins Peak TH, less than 2mi up a BLM dirt road from the pavement in Dome Valley to the southwest.
It was 8a when we headed out, starting on the Muggins Trail, a five mile loop that circles around the base of Muggins Peak. After less than half a mile, we turned northwest to follow a branch of an adjacent wash towards Long Mtn, the odd name for Klothos' South Ridge. There is a very decent use trail that one can follow all the way to the summit, with many ducks to assist. Where the route goes up a large, prominent gully, the use trail disappears and the ducks are sparse, but once on the ridgeline above, the trail can be easily picked up again. It follows along the ridge proper for only a short section, mostly keeping to the west side of the ridge to make for an effort no more than class 2. Fresh from his accident the previous day, Eric was understandably nervous about some of the exposure, even though it was minimal. Mostly, it's just long 2.5mi hike going up more than 1,200ft. The true summit is hidden behind a closer false summit for most of the hike, coming into view during the last half hour. We spent a little over two hours to make it to the summit where we found a cairn and a somewhat messy register with older loose pages dating to 2000, and a partially readable notepad, along with two newer registers left in 2017. Klothos is the second highest summit in the range, outdone only by Mugg BM about 4mi to the NNE. That summit is found on the adjacent Yuma Proving Grounds, and thus not part of the Muggins Wilderness.
We took another two hours to reverse the route back to Muggins Wash and the junction with the Muggins Peak route. Eric headed back to the TH while I headed east and northeast to Muggins Peak. The first half to the base of the peak is easy hiking in wash and/or on trail, according to preference. From a distance the peak is very intimidating, but up close it reveals its easier lines and turns out to be no more than class 2 almost all the way to the saddle between the two summits. There are some ducks and vestiges of a use trail, though not as good as the one on Klothos. At the end of the class 2 in the highest gully on the SW side, There is an overhanging alcove, home to a tattered American flag. The route past this suddenly becomes more serious. It goes to the right from below the alcove up steep class 3. The route has lots of rubble and makes it seem scarier than it is, but the underlying rock is generally solid. Above this 30 to 40-foot climb, the saddle is reached at the base of the east summit. I tackled this first, finding it class 3-4 on more of the same, less than ideal rock conditions. It took six minutes to find my way to the summit. I took a picture of the (I think) higher west summit and returned back to the saddle. Easier class 2 scrambling leads across a few minor points to the base of the west summit. The ridge going up cannot be easily climbed directly, but has a bypass that goes wide to the left before returning to the ridge above the serious difficulties. Class 3 scrambling then leads up to the summit. At least one TR describes a final knife-edge of loose, crumbly rock that much be negotiated. It looks a bit loose, but I found it quite solid and simply walked across the 1-foot wide edge. There was no register found at either summit, sadly. Since leaving Eric, it had taken about an hour and ten minutes to reach the highpoint. I took a few more pictures, including one of Klothos Temple to the northwest, then reversed the route all the way back down the SW side of Muggins. I picked up the Muggins Trail to take me back to the TH by 3p where I found Eric reading his book in a camp chair and looking very relaxed. I showered by the Jeep while he finished the chapter in his book, then we headed to Yuma for dinner...
This page last updated: Fri Jan 13 08:30:27 2023
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