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This was the second of three days spent in the Soda Mtns, attempting to reach all its summits listed on LoJ. Today's list of seven peaks are located in the eastern half of the range. I had camped off the Rasor Rd exit, on the north side of Interstate 15, though this was not where I had intended to start my hike in the morning. I realized my error after waking, leading me to drive back out to the highway and use the next exit to the northeast, the famous Zzyzx Rd. There are several cherry stems into the Soda Mtns Wilderness from this exit, allowing one to drive closer to some of the peaks than would otherwise be possible.
Next up was Peak 3,001ft, the lowest and least prominent of the bunch. It is connected to the first peak by a low saddle, requiring a 700-foot drop to reach it. I descended Peak 3,425ft's NW Ridge to reach the saddle, then a modest climb to reach the summit about 45min after leaving the first. The summit sits like a low island surrounded on all sides by the other four summit in the loop. I found no cairn or register, didn't build or leave one either. It would take another 45min to reach the third summit, Peak 3,172ft another mile to the west, dropping down to an intervening wash first. I started up the wrong ridgeline heading north, not realizing the error until I was 100ft above the wash. I reversed course to descend to the wash system a second time, then climbed a ridge leading to Peak 3,172ft from the northeast. This was the furthest summit from the car, deep inside the range, no cairns, register, or online record of other ascents, though I'm sure more than one prospector must have wandered over the top in the last 100yrs. I left a register here before continuing to the 4th summit.
The stretch to Peak 3,461ft was the longest of the loop, taking just over an hour. Peak 3,461ft lies about a mile and a half further north, but the connecting ridge does some serpentining on its way, making the distance about 2mi. This was the most enjoyable segment of the day, a quiet ramble through the middle of the range, with the desert seemingly all to myself. The summit offers outstanding views - north to the Avawatz Mtns and Silurian Valley, east to Silver Lake, south across the Soda Mtns to Soda Lake and beyond as far as the Bristol Mtns. Andy Smatko had been to this peak back in 1977, but I was unable to locate one of his tiny registers (in fact he'd been to the last four peaks I visited on the day, but I found no register on any of them). Again, I left one of mine before continuing east to the last summit, Peak 3,038ft. This was another pleasant stroll on easy terrain, especially the last half with a gentle grade for most of the way. I came across a random cairn while dropping to the saddle between the two, another reminder that these hills have seen plenty of traffic in days past. I spent most of an hour reaching the summit and the same amount of time to descend off the east side back to the Jeep. I was pleased to find that it was only 1:30p, giving me time for the last two summits I had planned for the day.
This page last updated: Sat Jan 23 09:45:52 2021
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