My second day in the Barstow area of San Bernardino County saw me
visiting a number of peaks east of Barstow and north of Interstate
15. I had been to all of these areas to climb the highest points -
Calico Peak, Alvord Mtn and Dunn BM, so this was a return to tag
the lower summits in the same hills. All of the climbing was class
2, though some of it was a bit on the spicey side.
This is a standalone peak on the west side of the road to Ft.
Irwin, a few miles north of Interstate 15. I'd camped the
night on the south side of the mountain at its base. There has
been significant quarrying of the rocks on the southeast and
northeast sides, but none recently. Though less than 1/5mi one-way,
the climb is quite steep initially, easing once the SE Ridge
is reached. I climbed it shortly after sunrise, leaving me a neat
photo of the mountain's shadow looking west when I reached the
summit. There is also a good view of the more impressive Lead Mtn
to the southwest.
This peak is another 4-5mi to the north near Pickhandle Pass, on
the east side of the Ft. Irwin highway. I'd done most of the peaks
in the Calico Mountains, but left this soft-ranked one. It was a
short hike from the highway, seemingly obvious. So obvious that I
climbed the wrong point, a slightly lower summit to the northeast.
That's what I get for not looking at the GPSr. It was only another
five minutes to the correct highpoint, so no big deal. A pretty
This is an interesting feature, though not really a summit.
It's located on the south side of the Calico Mtns, a few miles
east of the Calico ghost town. I found some OVH roads that got me
within a mile of the feature from the south. Chimney Rock might
better be called Rock Chimney - it's a vertical cleft, some 50ft high
in an area of badlands at the base of the range. The hike to reach
it is easy, following a broad wash. It looks pretty cool from below,
but the rock is terribly rotten and impossible to climb
without bolts at least a foot long. Getting above the feature is
a little dicey with questionable footing, but a fun challenge.
The next four peaks are all found east of Alvord Mtn (which is
really its own small range and perhaps better named the Alvord
Mtns). I exited I-15 an Manix, then used a series of BLM roads
that reach deep into Spanish Canyon where the four peaks are located.
I tackled the furthest one first, just outside the Ft. Irwin base. It can be
seen from the mouth of the canyon as a white ridgeline far to the north.
The BLM roads I used got within about a mile of the summit, but
it seems there is another road I missed that can cut about half a mile off
the distance. The spur road I was following ended somewhat
abruptly when the side canyon narrowed to block vehicles. I
climbed up the through the narrow gully to the north, going over
a ridge to another drainage (where I found the alternative road),
then up to the summit. LoJ had the spot elevation of 3,381ft as
the highpoint, but the true highpoint was another quarter mile
to the north and about 15ft higher. I left a register here
before returning by much the same route.
Peak 3,060ft - Peak 3,056ft
After returning to the Jeep, I retraced about a mile of the sandy
wash back down to the south, stopping for these two summits found
east of the canyon. They are easy to do in about an hour in a
nice loop. I believe the elevation for Peak 3,060ft is too high -
the other peak looks clearly higher from both summits. Less than
two miles for the loop. Barbara and Gordon had been to Peak 3,056ft
in 1982, but I was unable to find a register I'm sure they
would have left. I left one of my own and added their names to it.
Another mile south is this standalone summit with no easy way to
the top. The peak is basically dried mud covered to various
depths with loose rock and gravel, steep on all sides.
I climbed up the SE Ridge and found it a bit treacherous
and didn't want to have to descend the same way. I found a slightly better way
down by circling around in a clockwise fashion along the summit ridge
to another descent line. This one had more rock covering
the route - much of it came
down with me as I descended, but not treacherously so.
This named feature is found a few miles east of the previous
summit. It has less than 150ft of prominence and doesn't stand out
much. I returned to the powerline road and drove that northeast
for about 3mi. I turned left into a sandy wash and drove another
mile to get within about half a mile of the summit. More
badland-style gully mazes lead one to the base of the ridge and
a short climb to the highpoint.
This last summit is found about 5mi east of Clews Ridge, but
required about 8mi of driving on the powerline road and a BLM road
that forks south. I parked about a mile northeast of the
summit where the road jogs to the southeast. The hike goes over lots
of volcanic rock that cover the slopes, though not so much as to
be burdensome. Much of the hike was in the shade as the sun began
to set behind it. The climb was fairly tame, leading to the only
summit on the day that had a register, from Mark Adrian in
2018. No other signatures. After returning to the Jeep, I drove another
few miles to a dry lakebed where I would spent the night. Karl
was driving out to join me for the next few days, scheduled to
arrive sometime around bedtime...