Peak 2,119ft P300
Peak 2,742ft P300
Peak 2,398ft P300

Feb 28, 2021
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The last day of a 10-day desert roadtrip was spent in the Sacramento Mtns west of Needles, CA. There were three unnamed summits in the northern part of the range that I planned to visit in the early morning, giving me plenty of time for the long, 8hr drive home. I had camped in the range about a mile south of Interstate 40 and was up early for a predawn start before 6a. I could have done all three together in a larger loop, but in the interest of time, broke it into two hikes.

Peak 2,119ft

I managed to drive a very rough BLM road to within a quarter mile of the summit on the north side. There is a primitive BLM campground tucked into the wash with an occasional spring on the way there. From the north, the peak shows two summits, the western one appearing higher (but not). It was cold and windy in the early morning, so I made haste to get up and back quickly. I aimed for the western summit, scrambling the west side of its north ridge to make get myself to the summit in less than 10min. The sun was just hitting the tops of the higher summits to the west as I topped out. I realized the east summit was higher and scrambled to that in another minute. I hardly looked around for a register before beating a retreat, my hands too cold to bother with such things. I descended the gully between the two summits as a slightly more adventurous way down, some class 3, but nothing difficult. I was back about 20min after setting out.

Peak 2,742ft - Peak 2,398ft

I spent the next 20min driving the jeep back to the main road and then another spur heading south, deeper into the range. This gave the sun a chance to warm things outside a bit while the Jeep warmed me inside. These two peaks are located between the first peak to the northwest and Eagle Peak (a P1K and modestly popular) to the southeast. The road gave out while driving up an east branch of the main wash, a mile and a half from the northern peak, almost 3mi to the second. I decided to tackle the southern one first as it was both furthest and highest. From my parking spot near an old prospect, I headed southwest over a small handful of low hills peppered with cholla to get myself into the main wash heading south. The wash made for easy, open strolling for the next 3/4mi until I'd reached the base of Peak 2,742ft. I climbed the NE Slopes on an ascending traverse, aiming for the highpoint. The slopes are low angle to start, growing steeper towards the top, about 25min's effort from the wash and an hour from where I'd started. Eagle Peak rises more impressively to the southeast, about a mile and a half away. The western view overlooks the immense Ward Valley. The range HP can be seem some miles to the northwest, on the other side of I-40 and South Pass. Closer, Peak 2,398ft could be seen about 2mi away. I left a register here while working out how to tackle the last peak. The ridgeline between them is a bit complicated, so I decided the easier route would drop back down to the main wash and use that for an easy hiking path between them. From the wash, the East Face of Peak 2,398ft has several rings of cliffs. I knew from the GPSr that the highpoint was at the north end, so I didn't want to try going over the summit ridgeline from the south. I identified a gully cutting up and right through the lower cliff band and aimed for that. This led to a saddle and some fun class 3 scrambling to reach the gentler terrain between cliff bands. With the highpoint now visible to the right, I aimed for the lowpoint on the ridge to the left where it was easiest to get through the upper cliff band. Some class 3 was encountered below the upper saddle, then easier ground all the way to the summit. I thought this was the best of the three peaks for the fun scrambling. After leaving a second register here, I reversed my route through the upper cliff band, then grew bold to explore an alternate way down the lower band. On the topo map, this shows as the obvious gully on the east side between the peak's two summits, but the reality is a bit different. I followed the slope down the narrowing gully, eventually finding myself cliffed out by a dry waterfall. I had to scramble about 100ft back up the gully, then return to the first saddle near the top of the lower cliff band. From here I was able to make a less bold alternate by turning north and descending back to the east gully below the dry waterfall. The lower part of the gully made for an easy return to the main wash. Once back in the wash, it was about a mile of easy walking to where I'd parked. I finished by 10a, about an hour ahead of what I'd hoped for, allowing me to drive most of the way in daylight and getting me home shortly after sunset.

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