Peak 3,819ft P500
Peak 4,460ft P500
Peak 4,300ft P500
Peak 3,260ft P300
Sierra BM P300
Jupiter Mountain 2x P1K LPC
Jupiter Mountain West P300
Table Rock
Peak 2,740ft

Wed, Oct 20, 2021

With: Robert Wu
Barbara Lilley
Scott Barnes
Adam Webb

Etymology
Sierra BM
Jupiter Mountain
Jupiter Mountain West
Table Rock
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 4 GPX Profile
Jupiter Mountain previously climbed Tue, Dec 26, 2006
Peak 2,740ft later climbed Thu, Oct 21, 2021

Continued...

I was in Southern California to join a hike with Barbara Lilley that Robert had organized. I had looked forward to yearly meet-ups with Barbara for a new peak, but covid had put a damper on that the previous year. Now that we were vaccinated, we felt it safe to once again join her. Barbara had picked out a summit near Palmdale in the Antelope Valley, a summit that, surprisingly, I hadn't climbed, either. Robert's old friend Adam joined us, as did Scott, who I hadn't seen since covid started a year and a half ago. I had driven out the day before to get some extra hiking in, and was up early today to do some more before our 10:30a meeting time. After our hike and group lunch at the nearby Dennys, I went off and did some additional peaks, mostly a driving exercise.

Peak 3,819ft

I had camped on the southeast side of this peak, under a transmission tower on the utility road. I was up and climbing the short distance to the summit just before sunrise. The brush is of little hindrance (as it was on all the day's summits) and I made it to the top in less than 15min. I left a register before returning the same way.

Peak 4,460ft - Peak 4,300ft

I had scoped out these two summits the previous afternoon, finding reasonable access from the east of Angeles Forest Hwy. The utility road is shared by some rural residents and signed as Private Road and Permission Required. Ignoring this, I drove past the few homes and then up to a junction with a locked gate, parking there. The two peaks can then be climbed together in about three and a quarter miles roundtrip. I followed the utility road for only a quarter mile to the base of Peak 4,460ft before striking off cross-country for the rest of the route. It took a bit over half an hour to reach the higher summit with views overlooking the community of Acton and the Antelope Valle Fwy (SR14). After leaving a register, I descended back down the same route, veering south near the bottom to approach the second summit more directly. I climbed up Peak 4,300ft's NE Ridge, taking about 45min between the two summits. I left a second register here before descending northeast and east back down to the locked gate and the Jeep. The outing turned out to be much easier than I had anticipated (I thought neighborhood access was going to be more problematic).

Peak 3,260ft

This summit is found on the southwest side of Palmdale, in the drier hills bordering the Antelope Valley. The area appears to have been used by OHV users and hikers informally for many years. Newer residential development on the north side has encroached within half a mile of the summit. The easiest access appears to be at the end of Sphinx Dr. where metal posts block vehicle access, but it appears open to foot and bike traffic. No signs of any kind are found, indicating it is all still informal use. Our group of five were collected in the cul-de-sac for a 10:30a start. We followed various informal trails to make our way to the summit in about 45min's time. We took a break at the summit to admire the views and leave a register we didn't expect would last very long. We took a slightly different way back to avoid some of the steeper sections we'd encountered on the way up. Afterwards, we drove to the nearby Denny's where we had a nice lunch.

Sierra BM

The afternoon was mostly a driving exercise, fine with me since it's pretty fun in the Jeep. Sierra BM is found on the southeast side of Bouquet Reservoir, about half an hour west of Palmdale. I had first tried to drive to the top of Portal Ridge (between Antelope and Leona Valleys), but found it not open to vehicles where I tried to access it. I abandoned that one to more future research and headed to Bouquet Reservoir. I was happy to find Forest Road 6N08 open, driving it nearly six miles to the summit of Sierra BM. I saw no one until I got to the summit where a few vehicles were parked and some folks were camping. I walked a few feet to the summit rocks, took a few pictures of the surrounding Angeles Forest, and then headed back down the way I came.

Jupiter Mtn - Jupiter Mtn West

These two summit are found across Bouquet Reservoir from Sierra BM to the northwest. I had been up Jupiter Mtn back in 2006 with my son and a handful of other family members during the Christmas holiday. We had hiked to the summit from paved Spunky Canyon Rd, but today I had a more capable vehicle and could drive to the top. It was a spicy ascent, angling up to 24 degrees at the steepest part. I had the Jeep in 4-Low and the rear locker engaged. The ground had good traction, much better than the loose slope I got stopped on in Ventana a week earlier. The road continues across the summit, down to a saddle and then up to Jupiter Mtn West, about a mile further in that direction. After looking at the route going down, I decided not to drive between the summits since I wasn't sure I could drive back up on the return. If there were loose sections of steep slope, I might find myself stuck, so I decided to hike it instead. As it turns out, the ground was firm enough that I could have managed well enough, but it made for a nice hike, too. I spent an hour and a quarter on the roundtrip effort between summits before driving the Jeep back down the same route.

Table Rock

This minor rock is located in Texas Canyon. Access is via Rush Canyon Rd off Sierra Hwy, which leads to the Rowher Flat OHV area. Before reaching the OHV parking lot, I stopped on the uphill side of Table Rock on the south side. I then walked downhill to the saddle and up the easy class 2-3 route on the south side. I thought that might be the only scrambling route to the summit, but I found that the north side could also be climbed at class 3, as could gullies on the east and west sides. The summit is flat, thus the name, but the rock turns out to be underwhelming. On the drive back out, I was struck by a much better rock formation found about a mile to the southwest of Table Rock. I parked a second time, then walked past a locked gate and down to what turned out to be a developed climbing area. Later, I found it is called the Texas Canyon Rock Climbing Area, with representation on Mountain Project and other sites. It was near sunset, so I made a speedy recon of the largest rocks, finding bolts, graded trail work, benches, but no scrambling route to the highpoint. This would require a rope and climbing partner. There were two other vehicles where I'd parked by the gate, but the owners weren't to be found in the rock climbing area.

Peak 2,740ft

Back out at Sierra Hwy, I drove another ten minutes through the rural community of Agua Dulce and onto a utility road that leads to the summit of Peak 2,740ft. There is a tranmission tower located here. The highpoint is at the adjacent summit rock where a benchmark is located. It was now after sunset and I beat a hasty retreat to take a shower before it got too chilly. I ended camping the night there in the flat clearing, a very lovely site away from the highway noise and surrounding neighbors...

Continued...


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