Peak 3,825ft P500
Peak 4,576ft
Peak 4,806ft P500
Peak 4,114ft P300
Peak 3,763ft P300

Thu, Mar 9, 2023
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 GPX Profile


My 3rd full day in the Mojave had me doing a collection of summits in the North Mesquite Mountains Wilderness, found in the NE corner of San Bernardino County, close to the Nevada border. I had been to the area in 2015 to do the Wilderness highpoint and a few other summits around it. Today's were all on the periphery of the Wilderness, including one in the adjacent Mesquite Wilderness.

Peak 3,825ft

This is the northernmost summit in the Wilderness. I had spent the night camped off the good BLM road that passes about a mile to the north. I was up and started shortly after 6a, not bothering to have breakfast - I would do that on the drive to the next summit. I went up the NW Ridge in 40min, and down the North ridge in about the same time, to make a loop of it. Adam Walker had left a register in 2021, with a few other entries, most recently only a few weeks ago. The descent ridge did not go all the way back to the road, but dropped me into the wash between the two ridges with about 1/3 of the return remaining. The wash made for a pleasant walk, easier than either ridge. A little less than 2mi for the roundtrip.

Peak 4,576ft

I breakfasted on my drive back to Excelsior Mine Rd, then parked off the pavement when due west of Peak 4,576ft. "Due west" is really an exact figure, in this case. There is a fenceline that runs along the town section line with an old road (now in the Wilderness) running alongside it. Both run in a straight line to the base of the peak, making for a very convenient route. The distance is about 1.5mi each way, most of it a very easy jaunt. Once at the base of the peak, there is a loose limestone rubble slope to climb, most of this class 2, and on the tedious side. It took an hour to reach the summit where a fallen USGS survey stake is found. I thought the route interesting enough to leave a register on the summit, though it had less than 300ft of prominence. Went back the same way since it worked so nicely. Going down the rubbly slope was not as troublesome as I had expected. Limestone rubble seems to hold together better than most rock types.

Peak 4,806ft - Peak 4,114ft

I drove the BLM's Kingston Road over Winters Pass for the last three summits. The two on this outing are found in the Mesquite Wilderness on the south side of Kingston Rd. I had originally planned to do just Peak 4,806ft on this outing since Peak 4,114ft can be climbed from the east via a shorter route. However, the drive to Peak 4,114ft is a bit involved, and once I was atop Peak 4,806ft, I decided to do them together. It was a good decision because it made for the best outing of the day. I parked off Kingston Rd and started up a broad wash heading southeast just after noon. This wash was a bit brushy, requiring much weaving about. I had planned to follow the wash all the way to the summit ridge, but it grew brushier after about a mile, so I changed tactics and headed upslope to the northeast. This worked well, and I eventually made my way to the summit in about an hour and a quarter. Adam Walker had left a register here in 2020, no other entries in three years. This was the day's highest summit, also the most prominent with more than 600ft of prominence. While taking a break at the summit, I noted Peak 4,114ft a little over a mile to the east. I was feeling pretty good, so decided to add it to the agenda.

I had first to descend the northeast side of Peak 4,806ft to reach a pair of saddles, either of which could be used to reach the connecting ridgeline to Peak 4,114ft. I chose to use the lower one which I called the banded saddle due to the colorful rock layers. The descent works out to be all class 2, even at the narrowest point, but it then begins to veer away from the connecting ridgeline. This led to some sidehilling which I can't recommend, certainly not the easiest way to do this. The better route I discovered on the way back. I continued descending the ridge to the saddle between the two peaks, found about the halfway point. The continuing ridge to Peak 4,114ft from the saddle is easier, but there are a couple of difficulties that need bypassing. Careful attention to the terrain reveals sheep trails that get you past the difficulties in the most efficient manner. I took about an hour and a quarter between the two summits, slower than I had expected, but not bad, considering the terrain. I left a register at this second summit, a worthy one, I thought. On the return across the connecting ridge, I did a better job of following the sheep trails. This led me up a steep, but all class 2 route getting back to the banded saddle, via a section of wavy purple rock. Once back at the banded saddle, I headed off the north side which would drop nicely into the wash system I could follow back out. This was a much more pleasant wash than the one I had tried to ascend, and would make a better route to Peak 4,806ft, too, imho. There are a couple of short dryfalls, but no need to look for a bypass with easy class 3 descents through them. I eventually returned to the wide initial wash I had started up, and was back to the Jeep by 3:40p. Time for one more, I thought.

Peak 3,763ft

This summit is on the NW side of Kingston Rd, a few miles down the road from the last parking spot. The peak has some steep limestone faces on the south and west sides that I used. There is a prominent gully going up the south side that I used for the ascent, with some surprisingly fun scrambling. Once through the notch at the top, it's a short class 2 walk to the highpoint, about 40min for the ascent. I found no register and did not have one with me to leave. Great view of Mesquite Valley to the north and east, and well into Nevada and the Bird Spring Range behind the valley. I descended to the southwest, intially aiming for a saddle on that side, but turned to the south before reaching the saddle, making for a more direct line back to the Jeep. It was after 5p by the time I returned, the sun beginning it's final descent over the western horizon. I would end up camping a few miles down Kingston Rd where it would be very quiet for the evening. More fun in store tomorrow...


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