Peak 2,340ft
Peak 2,420ft

Wed, Dec 28, 2022
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Today was a relatively short outing to two soft-ranked summits in the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mtns west of Palm Desert. Poking around the satellite views the previous evening, I found the Cahuilla Hills Park TH on Edgehill Dr that gives access to the Gabby Hayes and Hopalong Cassidy Trails, among others. None of these go anywhere near the summits, but it would give me easy access to the BLM lands adjacent to the city park. The trails appear to be very popular, especially among dog owners - seems there were as many dogs as people on my return, possibly more. The hills here are very dry, steep and rugged, with very little vegetation. A passing storm overnight dropped some light rain in the Coachella Valley and environs, a bit of snow at the higher elevations, but nothing of any real substance.

My route followed the trail system west for about half a mile, and where it turned south to traverse the lower slopes, I headed cross-country up towards the nearer summit, Peak 2,340ft. The summit is hidden behind a false summit with a spot elevation of 2,220ft, but once it comes into view, it's not much longer to the summit. I took an hour and twenty minutes to make my way to the top where I found signs of regular visitors, but no register (none on the second summit, either). I stayed only briefly at the top before heading to the higher Peak 2,420ft, less than half a mile to the southwest. It's an easy traverse along the connecting ridgeline, taking about 25min, all class 2 terrain (as was all the cross-country today). For the return, I descended the SE Ridge down to the Stone Eagle Golf Course. There is a high perimeter fence with additional grating at the bottom, designed to keep out coyotes, bighorn sheep, rabbits and all manner of unwanted critters, including non-club members. The grounds are meticulously kept, commensurate with the high fees collected to play here. I walked the perimeter of the fence around the north side of the course, until I had regained the trail system. It should have been a simple matter to follow it back to my starting point, but I went the wrong way and ended traversing cross-country around a large drainage before returning to the trail where I had left it hours earlier. The trail was far busier mid-morning than when I started, the parking lots nearly full upon my return shortly before 10:30a. About 3.5hrs for the 5mi outing with 2,400ft of gain.

Sean K comments on 12/30/22:
For future visitors' reference (though I doubt many people care about these summits), there is a trail heading almost to the top of Peak 2,340. It branches off the official trail system at 33.70937, -116.41254 and ascends the ESE ridge of the 2,200 spot elevation. It peters out at the top of 2,200, but from there it's very easy to get to Peak 2,340.
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