Peak 3,490ft P300

Jan 9, 2024
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The first outing of the year had me once again heading out to the Mojave Desert. I was looking for a short outing on my way to the Clipper Mountains, finding this one just inside the Ft. Irwin Army base north of Barstow. Well-graded Copper City Rd forks off the paved Ft. Irwin Rd and heads north for 15.5mi to reach the base boundary at a locked, little-used gate. Any vehicle can reach this point. I drove a rougher boundary road east for another mile and parked, with the summit another mile to the NNE. If hiking from the good road, the peak is about 1.5mi to the NE, easily visible across the desert flats. I went over the boundary fence and made the easy hike to the base of the peak in just over 15min. The slope is moderately steep, but only about 300 vertical feet. The rock is predominantly granite and the footing is very good - little loose rock or sand. Another 12min saw me to the summit. The vast Superior Valley stretches out north and west, with the dry Superior Lake in the middle. Various other summits I'd already climbed were to the southwest and south. On the far side of the valley to the north rises Eagle Crags, a P2K about 13mi distance. I had climbed that one back in 2015.

Andy Smatko had visited Peak 3,490ft in 1978, Richard Carey in 2019. Richard had left a register in a small pill jar that I dutifully signed before heading back down. I was just over an hour for the whole outing, returning shortly before 1p. I saw only a few other vehicles during the hike, all of them outside the base on the good public road. There is a collection of three additional summits one could visit about 5mi further north, but that will require a more significant outing. I'll keep that in mind for some future effort...

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