Peak 2,675ft
Peak 2,060ft P300

Tue, Dec 27, 2022
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After a day of driving around OHV and utility roads for a bunch of short hikes and drive-ups, today's outing was more hiking, less driving - a 9mi loop in the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mtns south of Cathedral City. The lands here are a patchwork of BLM, state and other lands. The "other" category does not include tribal lands (those are mostly to the west), but the CalTopo land layers does not say what these 460acre squares are. If they are private, there are no fences or signs to indicate so, and it seems like all of the areas I traversed are, for all intent and purposes, BLM land. There are many hiking and biking trails throughout the area, some of them shown on Google Maps. The weather was overcast, but no rain today, as a major storm was making its way across most of the state. Some rain was expected come evening. The vegetation on these hills below 3,000ft is very sparse, in the rainshadow of the higher summits on the crest of the range to the west. This makes for fairly tame cross-country travel.

I used the Dunn Road Access Trail (the name used by Google Maps) on the southwest side of Cathedral City. There is no signage indicating a trailhead here, no welcoming kiosks or open gates. The fencing is old, but still serviceable, mainly intended to keep motor vehicles out. One has to duck under an iron bar next to a locked gate to access Dunn Rd. This old road is shown on the topo map climbing south into the Santa Rosas, eventually connecting with Hwy 74 in the Pinyon Flat area. The road is no longer open to vehicles, but foot and bike traffic is welcome and somewhat popular. I followed this road up for 3.7mi, past a trail junction, until about 0.4mi northeast of Peak 2,675ft. I hiked the easy P8>cross-country to the summit, only to discover the Hahn mountain bike trail goes nearly over the summit. One end of this trail descends ESE to the Mike Dunn Desert Riders Oasis (Google Maps label) and Dunn Rd, making it possible to summit without any cross-country travel. Not the shortest or easiest way unless on a bike, however. It took about an hour and a half to reach this first summit.

The second summit, Peak 2,060ft, is about 2.2mi NE of Peak 2,675ft. There isn't a whole lot of elevation gain/loss along the shortest route, but it does go across the grain of the drainages, leaving one with many small up and down segments. I spent an hour and a quarter getting between the two summits. Peak 2,060ft overlooks the heavily developed portion of Coachella Valley between Palm Springs and Indio. Lots of bustling city noises can be heard coming up from below. My return route to the northwest was only about 2mi, most of it cross-country. I descended the WNW Ridge to drop into a narrow drainage that would eventually empty into Cathedral Canyon back at the edge of town. I picked up an old road along the way (shown on topo map), but left it shortly thereafter since it veered into an adjacent drainage. The narrow canyon had some mild class 3 scrambling to get past a handful of short dryfalls, along with some dodging of catclaw that grows in the sandy streambed. It was probably the most interesting part of the outing. I eventually ended up on the south side of town where a neighbor has left a view bench overlooking the wide Cathedral Canyon wash. I then hiked one of the neighborhood streets the short distance back to the start. Just over an hour for this last leg, returning me to the Jeep by 11a.

Sean K comments on 12/28/22:
Peak 2,060 is also known as "Bradley Peak" and an ascent of its SE ridge (the ridge coming east off of spot elevation 2,005) from the valley floor is a very fun class 3/4 scramble.
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