Peak 3,093ft
Union BM P750
Peak 4,380ft P300

Wed, Oct 5, 2022
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profile

I was heading to Sedona, AZ for a two week roadtrip, a long drive from San Jose. To break it up, I planned some hikes along the way. On my own today, I left home early so I could get in a few hikes along with more than 8hrs of driving to get me to Kingman, AZ where I was to meet Iris and Tom for dinner.

Peak 3,093ft

This is an exceedingly minor summit on the eastern edge of Kern County, north of SR58 and west of US395. I used a series of BLM roads from US395 to get within a quarter mile of the summit. The area has a collection of low hills and lots of desert flats stretching out for miles. Nothing to recommend it, really, save for some fun Jeep driving.

Union BM - Peak 4,380ft

These were the more interesting summits of the day, part of Arizona's Black Mtns just south of SR68 between Bullhead City and Kingman. The main objective, Union BM, has more than 800ft of prominence, while Peak 4,380ft, a nearby bonus, turns out to be the more challenging of the two. I parked of the highway and headed south from there, initially over rolling terrain until I climbed onto Union BM's North Ridge. I kept to the right side when difficulties were encountered, finding a class 2 gully that made itself known when most appreciated. Easier scrambling then led to the summit crown where a bit of class 3 is needed to work through a short cliff band. It took 40min to reach the summit where I found a benchmark and some swell views. To the north is an impressive summit that I would later find is called Sugarloaf Peak, which I would visit on my way back from Sedona. To the south is an array of peaks, many of which look interesting and warranting future visits. There was a register dating to 1998 with 12 pages of entries, most of them by a Homer Meeks who was climbing it well into his 80s.

The impressive-looking Peak 4,380ft lies half a mile to the northeast. Though not the easiest way down, Union's East Face was the most direct, and a fun challenge, too, as I wasn't sure it would work right up until the very end. All class 3. I made my way along the connecting ridgeline, passing obstacles on the north side. Up close, the summit looked exceedingly difficult, but upon working my way around to the east side, I found a class 3-4 route that would work nicely, climbing out to the left of a chimney, then right to get back to the chimney above a chockstone. Easier scrambling then led to the summit. 73yr-old Ted Brasket left a register here in 2003, with only a handful of entries since then. Most of the other entries were folks I'd climbed with at one time or another. I returned back off the east side, then around to the north side where I dropped down a class 2 chute and found a burro trail to help me for much of the return. I was back to the highway by 5:30p, a little over two hours for the round trip.

I was due to meet the others in Kingman at 6p, so I drove off without bothering to shower. We met up in downtown Kingman at the Dirty Dough Pizzeria and Tap Room (highly recommended). The last time we were here it was pouring rain outside. After dinner and libations, we drove up into the Hualapai Mtns where we found a place to camp just outside the state park. The weather was much cooler here and we could sleep comfortably at the 5,700-foot level. The shower I took before doing so was barely tolerable - brrrr...


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