Peak 3,559ft P300
Peak 3,966ft P300
Peak 2,542ft P500

Sun, Apr 2, 2023

With: Tom Becht

Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profile


Our last day in the Twentynine Palms area was just half a day, allowing us both to get home before sunset. Tom was looking for an easier day, so we headed back to the Pinto Mountains for some unfinished business from the day prior.

Peak 3,559ft - Peak 3,966ft

We took my Jeep today, driving back up Gold Park Rd and then to the saddle with Music Valley. The two peaks we were after are found on either side of the road. There were two UNLV trucks parked nearby, evidently geology students out on a field trip with their professor. They were off examining rocks as we headed out for the easier summit, Peak 3,559ft to the north. The distance is a little over a mile, mostly easy terrain with a few intermediate bumps to go over. The unassuming summit overlooks the northwest corner of the range, and looks northeast into the oversized Wonder Valley (that's not all that wonderful, judging by the occupants). There was a register left by Richard Carey in 2018 with just a few other entries. We returned back via much the same route.

The geology class had moved only a few hundred yards east by the time we had returned and started up to the higher Peak 3,966ft on the south side of the road. This one would entail more distance and elevation, but still a moderate effort. There is a false summit to go over before the highpoint can be seen a short distance to the south. The terrain was rockier than the first, but still good footing and all class 2. When we finally reached the summit, we were surprised to see that Barbara and Gordon had been here in 1981. Normally, I would have known this ahead of time, but it seems we had an error in the accounting of their records which I would correct once I got home. We had confused what they called "Quarry Peak" with a Quarry BM found several hundred miles north, near Ridgecrest. Ours made for the fifth entry. We were back to the Jeep by 10:10a, having spent just shy of three hours on the outing. I would drive Tom back to his Jeep at the edge of town where we had camped, letting him get back home around noon. I would drive out for one more summit before heading home myself.

Peak 2,542ft

This last summit is the southernmost in the Bullion Mtns. Most of the range falls within the 29 Palms marine base, but the southern third is BLM land, part of the Cleghorn Lakes Wilderness. The peak forms the southeast corner of the Wilderness and is easily approached from paved Amboy Rd, south of Sheephole Pass. There is a dirt/sand pipeline road that can get you closer, but it saves only about 600ft of walking on flat desert and hardly worth the trouble. I parked off the pavement almost due east of the summit, just north of a desert residence. It's a pleasant walk across the flats to the base of the mountain, then steeply up rocks and some loose crud that characterizes much of the peak. It took less than 30min to reach the summit where I took a few photos, left a register and went back down. The gully I used just south of my ascent route was not much better, terrain-wise. I was done for the day shortly after noon, showered at Sheephole Pass, then spent the next 7hrs driving back to San Jose...

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