Peak 1,380ft P300
Peak 2,093ft P300
Peak 2,220ft P300

Dec 3, 2023

With: Tom Grundy

Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX


We were in California's Whipple Mountains near the Arizona border for a second day. None of my companions had been to the range highpoint, a DPS summit, so I would send them off to do it while I managed a few minor summits on the north side of the range. Figuring he could catch them on the way if he got a later start, Tom decided to join me for a first summit not far from where we'd camped for the night on the NE side of the range. I would then drive him to the start for the Whipple HP before parting ways.

Peak 1,380ft

This is a minor summit in the Chemehuevi Indian Reservation, about a mile from the utility road that passes through the reservation. We had started on this road the previous day, finishing the length of it today. While Iris and Eric headed off in the Rav4 for the Whipple Mtns HP trailhead, Tom and I first paid a visit to Peak 1,380ft starting at 7:15a. We hiked up a wash for about a quarter mile before hopping onto the southernmost of two ridges that can be followed to the summit from the southwest. We would use the other ridge on the return. The terrain is pretty tame and makes for easy cross-country travel, taking us about 45min to reach the summit. This is the northernmost summit in the Whipple Mtns and offers a near view of Arizona's Lake Havasu City to the northeast across the Colorado River. We left a register here before returning to the Jeep. We were about an hour and a half behind the others, but would make up some of this on the drive.

Peak 2,093ft

This summit is 3-4mi north of the Whipple Mtns HP and can be reached from the same TH at the defunct War Eagle Mine. Once we turned off the well-graded utility road, there's about 6mi of rough driving to reach the old mine. The road is more suited for the Jeep, but the Rav4 could make it by driving slower and using more care. We could see Eric's tire tracks on road, often noting one side up on the berm to avoid bottoming out on the high-centered roadway. By the time Tom and I had reached the TH, we'd cut their lead down to an hour. Tom would easily catch up to them before they reached the summit. Meanwhile, I parted ways with Tom immediately, turning east to make may way to the much easier Peak 2,093ft, about a mile and change in that direction. I followed an old road, now part of the Wilderness, to start, then across some low hills to cross several minor drainages. I approached the peak from the southwest, climbing rubbly slopes to a saddle and onto the SW Ridge, skirting a few intermediate points in my way. I found the higher of two rounded summits on the east side of the peak, reaching it after a little more than an hour. Chris Kerth had been to the summit in 2019 when he had done the range highpoint, the only other person to log an ascent online. I left a register before returning via a more direct route that proved no easier since I had more elevation gain and loss across the various drainages and ridges. I was back to the Jeep at noon, about 2.5hrs for the outing.

Peak 2,220ft

This summit is about 2mi west of the War Eagle Mine. I would make a shorter 1.5 route by driving back out on the various BLM roads and approaching from the northeast. The route I followed was direct, crossing a few minor drainages, then along the base of the peak's NE Ridge. I went over a low saddle to gain the drainage I could follow all the way to the summit. It turned out to be a rubbly mess of a gully, not very pleasant, but it worked and got to the summit in an hour's time. There are two points vying for highpoint, the southern one being highest. I had a good view of the Whipple Mtns HP to the southeast, noting just how far it was from the trailhead, now to the east - the others would get back well after me, I surmised. I left a register and headed back via the same route, returning to the Jeep by 2:20p.

After showering where I'd parked, I drove back to the War Eagle Mine to wait for the others. I had plenty of time to download photos to the laptop and other chores, meanwhile getting periodic text updates on their progress. They eventually were found walking down the wash from the south about a quarter mile from the TH. After reconvening at the TH, we drove the two vehicles back out to the powerline road we'd started on, retrieved the Element and then found a place to camp on BLM lands a few miles further along the utility road.


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