Peak 3,458ft
Peak 4,005ft P500
Peak 3,976ft P500
Peak 4,806ft P500
Peak 3,996ft P300
Peak 4,058ft P300

Mar 8, 2023
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 GPX Profiles: 1 2


Today was the second day of a 30mi tour through the BLM's Kingston Wash Route. I had spent the night undisturbed in Kingston Wash - I saw no one else driving the route during my visit. I got a full day in to tag six summits, three of them along the route, the last three along the roughly paved Excelsior Mine Rd.

Peak 3,458ft

This was the summit immediately south of where I had camped for the night. I was up before 6a, but not ready to head out until 6:45a. It was plenty light out at this time, the last week before daylight savings kicks in again. It was around 37F, so I wasn't too excited about starting too early. From Kingston Wash, I followed a side wash climbing to the south for most of the ascent. It proved the better of the two routes I used, a pretty tame, sandy wash that made for nice hiking and kept me out of the early morning's cold breeze. It took about 50min to cover the nearly 2mi distance to the summit. Partly overcast skies would keep things cool all day and mute the views some. Still, there are nice views looking around the Kingston Wash area, including a pair of summits I climbed the previous day to the west and the much higher Kingston Range to the north with a light blanket of snow from earlier storms. On the descent, I followed the North Ridge all the way back to Kingston Wash, taking about an hour.

Peak 4,005ft - Peak 3,976ft

This were the highlight of the day, a pair of remote P500s that I combined in a six mile loop that occupied me for the better part of four hours. I visited the higher Peak 4,005ft first, following a wash in from the northwest, then up to the summit ridge, approaching from the north. I went over the lower north summit before landing on the highpoint an hour and change after starting out. I left registers on both of these summits. In order to reach Peak 3,976ft, I dropped off the SE side of Peak 4,005ft. The upper part is a complex maze of steep gullies, all of which seem to work at class 2-3. Lower down, I dropped into a wash system that I could follow northeast and north to the second summit, all class 2, and most of it very pleasant hiking. I went up through a class 2 gully in the upper reaches of the peak's south side, then on to the summit, reaching it about an hour and twenty minutes after leaving the first summit. For the 2.3mi return, I dropped NW into a gully that leads down nicely, only one dry waterall - a large one - that was easily bypassed to the side. The second half of the return was another pleasant hike in a wash that took me back to the Jeep by 12:45p. Still lots of time left in the afternoon.

Peak 4,806ft

I drove the remaining 5-6mi of the Kingston Wash Route out to Excelsior Mine Rd, then did a collection of short hikes to summits on either side of this somewhat-paved road. Peak 4,806ft was the highest, in the Kingston Range proper, and even had a few bits of snow in the upper reaches. Adam Walker had used the NE Ridge to access this summit, but that seemed to have a bit of extra work over intermediate bumps. Instead, I went up a gully on the south side of this ridge, through a pleasant Joshua Tree forest, then up a steep subsidiary ridge to join the NE Ridge very close to the summit. Just under an hour for the ascent, I had expected to find one of Adam's registers, but found none and left none. I returned via the same route since it worked so nicely.

Peak 3,996ft

This was the easiest summit of the day, less than 2/3mi each way. I parked off a dirt road west of the paved road and went up the NE side of Peak 3,996ft in less than 20min. John Vitz had left a register here in 2016, but for the life of me, I couldn't manage to get the lid off the glass jar. If I'd had another register with me, I'd have probably broken it, but instead left it unmolested before heading back the same way.

Peak 4,058ft

It was well after 4p when I started on this last summit, found on the east side of Excelsior Mine Rd. The distance was about 0.8mi, taking 25min to make my way to the summit. All easy class 2 until the last 30ft or so, then some easy class 3 which probably could be avoided by going around one side or the other. Vitz had left a register here in 2016 as well, this time I was able to get the lid off and add an entry. It was just after 5p by the time I finished up. I still had about 5mi of driving on BLM roads to position myself for the next morning. It was a chilly shower I took in the roadway near where I camped for the night. Nobody would disturb my well-deserved sleep tonight...


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