Sat, Feb 6, 2021
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Sleeping Beauty is a P1K lying in the southern part of the Cady Mtns, just north of Interstate 40, northwest of Ludlow. I had climbed it in 2009, but had come back to climb three unnamed summits in this same part of the range. I used a driving route described by Zdon in his Desert Summits for getting to Sleeping Beauty - I got off I-40 at the Hector exit, then used the old US66 (National Trails Highway) that follows along the south side of the Interstate before crossing over to the north side near Sleeping Beauty. A BLM road goes north away from the highway, then I used a powerline road to travel east, parking in a wash to start the large 12mi loop. One could probably make this easier by breaking it up into multiple hikes, but it was the only thing I had planned for the day before heading home. It made for a very fine day, taking about 6hrs. One could add Sleeping Beauty with maybe an additional 1-1.5hrs of work.
I had slept not far from my starting point so that I could get a fairly early start before 6:30a. I would spend an hour and a quarter covering the 2.5mi distance to the first summit, Peak 3,682ft which lies less than a mile NE of Sleeping Beauty. Most of this was up a broad wash heading north, eventually reaching the loose, volcanic slopes which had some tedium on the upper half. The summit features views of Sleeping Beauty to the southwest, the Cady Mtns HP to the northwest, and Broadwell Lake and the Bristol Mtns to the northeast. I left a register here before starting southeast along the connecting ridgeline to Peak 3,021ft that I planned to visit next. The ridge is complex and more work than I expected, and after getting about halfway along it in 45min, I decided to change tactics and hit the furthest summit, Peak 2,552ft instead. This would cut my 14mi planned loop down to about 12mi by going over Peak 3,021ft last. I dropped off the ridge to the northeast into another wash that offered easy hiking, even if not very direct. I passed through someone's target practice yard and found an OHV road that enters from the north (and would have made Peak 2,552ft much easier). I followed this road and a spur south and around to the west side of Peak 2,552ft before scrambling up to the summit, a straightforward effort with decent footing. I arrived shortly before 10a, over two hours after leaving the first summit. Andy Smatko had visited this summit in 1972, but I found no sign of a register. I added his name to a second register I left here. There's a better view of Broadwell Lake to the northeast, and a view of Ludlow to the southeast.
After descending back down the west side of Peak 2,552ft, I headed west, aiming for Peak 3,021ft less than 1.5mi away. After crossing a first wash, I went through some lower, intermediate hills before crossing a second wash where I picked up an old mining road that climbs towards the summit. This road is shown on the topo map, but didn't appear to have any traffic in years. Whether it's still drivable from the powerline road to the south would be interesting to know - it would certainly make this a very short approach to the peak. The road ends about 400ft below the summit on the SE side. There doesn't appear to have been any mining at this location so it's hard to see what motivated the making of the road - curiosity? It was a rough, loose scramble up to the summit from the end of the road, class 2 but somewhat sketchy. As if to confirm this assessment, I found the foot of a juvenile bighorn in the rocky mess, which undoubtedly came to its demise on the slopes here. I reached the summit at 11a, finding views similar to those on the previous summits. Smatko had been to this summit on that same day in 1972, but again, no register. And I was out of my own for the time being, so the summit was left as I found it.
I walked south across the summit ridge before dropping southwest off the peak to begin my 2.5mi return. It was not straightforward, with several drainages and hillocks to cross, but it worked well enough. My route took me past the Paymaster Mine, shown on the topo map, where I found the remnants of a mining cabin, an iron stove, tons of rusting tins and the hood of a vintage automobile half-buried in the sand. I found places that were scraped by bulldozers, but nothing in the way of tailings that would show there was any serious mining activity. And yet, someone staked a claim, brought all sort of stuff out here, and spent a good deal of their time here. I wonder if this was the old-timers' version of a Man Cave? I was back by 12:20p, leaving the rest of the daylight for the drive home. Not a long roadtrip, but a few good half-days, nonetheless...
This page last updated: Sat Feb 13 15:32:01 2021
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