Peak 2,417ft P300
Peak 2,841ft
Peak 2,437ft P300

Fri, Feb 12, 2021
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profiles: 1 2


The last of a 3-day roadtrip to the Bristol Mtns was a half-day effort to allow the drive home to be done mostly in daylight. I was up at 5a for the second day in a row, but this time I had no driving from my campsite. I had camped off the powerline road that runs around the north side of the range, right where I planned to begin my hike in the morning. I got out a headlamp to start in the dark around 5:30a.

Peak 2,417ft - Peak 2,841ft

I headed up a wash that would lead into the mountains between these two summits. It was easy enough to follow (no cacti to stumble into) that I was able to turn my headlamp off after half an hour. It was so much more pleasant to take in the whole predawn desert in low light rather than a narrow view with the glaring headlamp. I was near the saddle between the two peaks at the end of the long wash after about an hour. From there, it was a short 15min scramble up to the lower Peak 2,417ft. Clouds had obscurred sunrise and they were still keeping the sun hidden, muting views. Peak 2,841ft could be seen to the south, though I confused it with the much higher (and much further) Peak 3,618ft behind it that I'd climbed two years earlier. When I realized the error, I was happy that the second half of the hike would be easier than it first appeared. After leaving a register, I descended back down from Peak 2,417ft to the main wash, then southwest across a minor drainage to approach Peak 2,841ft from the northeast. Upon nearing the peak, I climbed out of the alternately rocky and sandy drainage to scramble slopes to gain the NE Ridge, and from there to the summit. It took about 50min between the two peaks. After leaving a second register here, I descended the NW side of the peak into a drainage on that side, rocky and fun scrambling in the middle, eventually becoming a wide sandy wash that would join up with the original one I had ascended. I was back to the Jeep by 8:45a.

Peak 2,437ft

It was a little early to start for home, so I figured I would do the easier of two other summits I had originally planned together for an 8mi loop. Peak 2,437ft by itself would be about 3mi, easily done in less than two hours. I moved the Jeep about 5mi southwest on the powerline road, then headed southeast up a wash system on foot. After about 3/4mi, I turned south into a side drainage that would lead fairly directly to the summit from the northwest side. It wasn't the best of routes with steep, rubbly slopes. I left a third register here. Looking northeast across the wash I'd started in, I could see the other summit, Peak 3,723ft somewhere in the distance. It looked far. The GPSr told me it was another 1.85mi in that direction, a bit too far to entice me - I would leave it for another time. By continuing east from the summit a short distance to a saddle along the ridgeline, I found what turned out to be a much better route back down to the main wash, even if a little longer. It had the same rubbly look as the ascent route, but there was lots of solid bedrock in the channel and the footing was far better. On my way back out the main wash I was treated to a brief rainbow off to the west, the weather gradually improving with more blue sky. I found the remains of a busted up weather instrument, of the sort sent aloft on large balloons to monitor wind conditions. It was decades old by the looks of it, and in many pieces. I was back to the Jeep by 10:40a, just about perfect to get me home by the 7p estimate I'd given my wife the night before. The highlight of the long drive was going across dry Broadwell Lake at close to 60mph - such a smooth ride. Though it had been a short trip, I knew I would be back out this way in less than a week's time, and was already looking forward to it...

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