Day 4 of my birthday desert roadtrip saw us doing a mix of obscure summits in
the Joshua Tree area. Bob Sumner would be joining us today, planning to meet us
at the junction of the Geology Tour Rd with the main park road at
7a. Camped outside the park we underestimated just how long it takes to drive
from the southern
entrance to Geology Tour Rd, arriving some 10-15min past the meeting time. Bob
didn't seem perturbed as our little caravan of three vehicles pulled into the
parking lot found there. To keep from having to move too much stuff out of any
one vehicle, we took two cars to get the four of us to the first TH.
This unofficially named summit derives its name from Zdon's
book, which took it from
found at the
summit. Bob has been interested in collecting all of the summits in Zdon's book,
so it was for his benefit that we made this our first venture. We parked at the
on the south side of the summit which overlooks the broad
Pleasant Valley. A use trail leads up to a set of mine prospects at the base of
the hill and it's a to the
2/3mi. Though steep, the climbing is not hard and like most cross-country in
Joshua Tree, is not hampered much by the sparse vegetation. We spent about 50min
in reaching the summit. The peak appears to be moderately popular based on the
eight pages of entries in left .
Surprisingly, it wasn't
one of the usual suspects that had left it. Older scraps dated back further
but these were brittle and in poor condition. Local resident
was among these. We spent perhaps 15min atop before ,
to the cars not long after 9a.
This LPC summit is located 2.5mi west of Lela, just off the Geology Tour Rd.
There is a small area to park off the road east of the summit, making for one
of the easiest LPC summits to reach, a little over a mile round trip. Bob and
I had cheated by driving the wrong way on the one-way portion of Geology Road,
getting us to the parking area five minutes before the others. We
for Malapai expecting the others to catch up. While Bob went off towards the
summit, I made a detour to a nearby rockpile that made for a very interesting
class 3 scramble. The pile is composed of some enormous boulders that require
some very circuitous route-finding in order to reach the top. There are all
sorts of tunnels through the rocks, some of which can be negotiated, others
looking like death traps (later, on the way back I spotted a bobcat watching us
from this rocky labyrinth. It quickly disappeared inside when I pointed it out
to others). By the time I had extracted myself through a tunnel to the north
the others were all . I caught up to Karl just below the
summit, the other two already when we arrived. Even with the
detour I spent but 30min to reach the summit. This was a far more popular peak
with several filled with entries. My previous entry
from 2010 was still there. There were just too many entries on a trivial peak
to bother photographing all the pages. I took but and called it
done. This was the last of the Joshua Tree LPC summits for Tom and
another one for Bob to check off.
Mt. Minerva Hoyt
2013 saw the addition of two more peaks to the HPS list. Typically these are
silly little peaks with almost no prominence, promoted by Peter Doggett or one
of the other prolific HPSers needing more places to visit. Mt. Minerva Hoyt is
one of these silly summits but it was named not after one of the HPS's own, but
for one of the first active desert preservationists
and a strong promoter of
Joshua Tree National Monument. It was nice that the Park Service broke one of
it's own rules about not naming new summits within
National Parks, but it was too
bad a more worthy summit couldn't be found. The summit is a local bump NE
of the park's highpoint, Quail Mountain. The route we would take follows much
the same route often used to climb Quail. Our motorcade reconvened at the
a rock climbing mecca and possibly the most popular
area in the park. The large lot was not quite full when we arrived around
10:45a, and after setting some water jugs out on the dash we started off
heading west along the
on the south side of the rockclimbing
formations found here. There were plenty of kids scrambing about and more
serious climbers plying their trade as we moved west to quieter parts of the
park. Our route took us past the ,
a grandfathered inholding on the edge of Lost Horse Valley. There are multiple
here, the newer
but unfinished-looking one to the east. A white station wagon sits atop jack
stands where it appears to have been left decades earlier. Verne Randolph Jr.
is said to still live there (online search), but the place doesn't look to be
occupied any longer. If anyone still lives there, it is probably on a
parttime basis only.
we hiked to the valley's edge, then wandered
through a of twisty,
in a direct line with our
summit. Interesting, but not the easiest way to get to Minerva Hoyt. After half
a mile of this we came out upon more
at the base of the summit.
While the others followed a deeper canyon to the left, I followed more directly
up the SE Ridge that would lead directly to the summit. The others were
somewhat confused as to where the summit was, thinking it was at another point
further west while I had no such indecision - I had the GPS with the route
dialed in and knew exactly where it was. Karl and Bob corrected the mistake
before following Tom up the wrong slope but it didn't cost Tom much in the end.
He was still the second to reach
not far behind myself. We spent
just over an hour and a half to reach the top. There were two register books
filled with hundreds of names, probably the most popular summit in the park over
the last two years since the naming became official. Many were from
out to add the latest HPS summit to their checklist, but there were
also plenty of others who came out to pay tribute to Ms. Hoyt, leaving their
in the register. Tom brought out the leftover
to share at the summit, along with his mom's "hooch", a coffee-based liquor
concoction that goes down pretty easy while adding a little high to the
afternoon. After we had finished both of those items off we descended the
mountain, none of us having any interest in visiting the higher Quail Mtn
as a bonus (all four of us had already tagged it). We
found the easier route to the west of the canyon maze that made the return to
that much easier. We paid a longer visit to the Randolph
Ranch, examining the , an , the
and the ,
finding all the doors locked. It was 2:30p by the time we
to Hidden Valley, bringing the
outing to a conclusion in under 4hrs' time.
Bartlett Mountains HP
This mountain is entirely on private property and should not be pursued without proper permission. See note below.
The Bartlett Mountains are a small range just north of the town of Joshua Tree
outside the park. Only about 2.5mi on a side, it might have better been termed
the Bartlett Hills, but that was not for us to decide. Evan Rasmussen had
visited the highpoint a few years earlier and provided the concise write-up
that we were to follow, an easy hike of less than 2mi RT on an excellent use
trail. These were important points at this juncture as Bob was more than ready
to call it quits for the day. Tom and Karl were more used to my habit of getting
them to do "just a little more" and made no similar complaints. The dirt access
road is found off paved Yucca Mesa Rd, itself branching off SR62 between Joshua
Tree and Yucca Valley. Sun Mesa Drive passes through a sparely populated
patch of desert to reach some 4WD roads that can take one within a mile of the
summit. We our two vehicles here
(having left the other two back at SR62) and
around 3:20p. To keep the whining to a minimum, I
promised the hike to the summit would take all of 15min. Bob suggested I
should buy dinner should I be proven wrong. And so I was - it took us just over
20min on what we all agreed was
that someone had spent time
developing with steps in a few places and a well-cleared path. After going over
by a few , the trail took us to
devoid of survey towers, benchmarks and registers, just a nice
little perch to view the .
We were back again at the cars just after 4p.
Tom had to head home while the three of us remained for another exciting evening
of desert nightlife (just kidding). We found what I thought was a great place
for dinner at the
in Joshua Tree. Perhaps a little pricey, but
I thought the ahi fish tacos were worth the $14. The others seemed to enjoy
their meal as well with an interesting atmosphere and good service. Definitely
would recommend the place to others (as I'm doing here). And I picked up the tab
to make good on my agreement with Bob. Afterwards we drove
east to Gold Crown Rd some 16mi past 29 Palms where we would spend the night.
Bob had gotten up at 3a to join us that morning so he was off to sleep almost
as soon as we had circled the wagons. Karl joined me in the van for a feature
movie and snacks. It's a hard life out here in the desert...
Received via email on Feb 19, 2023:
Once your car left Sun Mesa road, you were trespassing on private property including the "4WD" roads mentioned in your hike report. Your hike continued on private property all the way to the summit. You crossed several private parcels including the extensive Ducor Holdings, and Dudrow LLC properties.
As private property owners we deal with people illegally driving in, bringing invasive plant seeds on their boots and tire tracks, camping, leaving trash, spray painting (tagging) rocks, trampling fragile and rare desert plants, and stealing rocks and plants including the fragile Mammillaria grahamii. I personally hauled out over 500 pounds of trash including food waste, plastic cans, and lots of poop and toilet paper from an illegal camp in the valley beyond the summit.
Sheriffs and local land owners will now ticket trespassers and tow their vehicles.
I appreciate your hike write ups but not the ones that involve trespassing. Please revise your Bartlett mountain hike with a WARNING BANNER stating that this summit "tag" should not be pursued as it is entirely on private property. Entry on private property without the property owner's permission in writing is prohibited by law.
It is irresponsible to publish an illegal hike on social media. You cannot control or monitor your hikes or their impact once they are published on a public forum.
Greg, from The Peak Baggers website has placed a red letter banner on his website regarding the Bartlett Mountains "high point" in response to my email.
See this link
I am hoping you will exercise damage control to mitigate the negative impact of your published hike.
We are working hard to protect and preserve our fragile desert ecosystem.
I would greatly appreciate your taking positive action AND a follow up to my email.
Allemall Foundation Inc.
Land agent of Dudrow LLC