Peak 1,729ft P300
Peak 1,740ft P300
Peak 1,844ft P300
Peak 1,648ft P300
Peak 1,820ft
Peak 1,907ft

Sun, Dec 18, 2022

With: Tom Grundy
Iris Ma

Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profiles: 1 2

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Today was spent in the Little Chuckwalla Mountains of Riverside County, south of Interstate 10. We found a fine campsite off Graham Pass Rd the previous night - decently flat, cell coverage, and plentiful firewood. This would also serve as the starting point for the main loop, visiting a collection of unnamed summits in the range. Tom and Iris would add the range HP as well, a summit I had done in 2016, while I went off to do a couple of minor bonus peaks.

Four Peak Loop

It was 7a when we were ready to start out, about half an hour after sunset. Peak 1,729ft was a little over a mile to the SSE. Most of the distance was covered with easy walking, followed by a class 2 climb up the NW side, reaching the summit in under an hour. Mark Adrian had left a register here in 2021. Finding class 2 climbing and Mark's registers would be repeated on all the other summits. It was 45min to make our way to the next summit, Peak 1,740ft, and an additional hour to the third one, Peak 1,844ft. Upon leaving the summit we split up, Tom and Iris heading to the range HP, while I dropped back down to the wash system and headed for the 4th summit, Peak 1,648ft, 1.7mi to the northeast. It was nice that the main wash I followed ran in that direction towards the peak, passing along the base of it's west side. This saved me from crossing drainages against the grain. This longer leg would take me an hour and twenty minutes. The SW Face I ascended was steeper than the other faces, with a bit of easy class 3, but nothing that couldn't have been worked around if one wanted to keep it to class 2. I descended a ridgeline off the west side, then about a mile across the flats to return to the vehicles by 12:15p.

Two Peak Loop

While the other two were making there way between the range HP and Peak 1,648ft, I drove back up to Graham Pass to do a couple of soft-ranked summits on the west side of the Little Cholla Mtns. This was a two and a quarter mile outing to Peak 1,820ft and Peak 1,907ft with less than 700ft of gain between them. From Graham Pass Rd, I headed east down a wash to the west side of Peak 1,820ft, then climbed if from the NW to reach the top in only 20min - piece of cake. I continued southwest off the summit, then up the north side of Peak 1,907ft. The slope was covered in dark volcanic rocks with excellent footing, making this one the easiest of the bunch, even though the highest. The other summit registers had all been left in 2021, but this one was from only a month ago. I was amused to see that Mark had used the same orange Rhodia pads I use in my own registers - seems maybe he tired of making his own pads? On the way down, I noticed two small yellow flowers, the first California poppies I've seen this season. This area seems to have gotten more rain than the other desert areas I visited in the past few weeks, and there were many small green plants bringing some color to the desert - though not enough to be noticeable from a distance. With a few more well-timed showers over the next few months, this could be a good year for desert blooms. I returned to the Jeep near the pass shortly after 2p. I took a shower and drove back to camp, the others joining me about 20min later. Fun day, even if it was an easy one...

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