Peak 4,100ft P300
Peak 4,482ft P300
Peak 4,354ft P300
Blue Point ESS

Fri, Nov 16, 2018
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX

I was to meet a few friends on the western edge of the Mojave desert for some weekend peakbagging, heading out early on Friday after dropping my wife and her friend off at the airport. With half the daylight spent driving, I had the afternoon to tag some unnamed summits in the Jawbone Canyon area. The canyon is a highly popular OHV area, designated as "Open OHV" which means vehicles aren't restricted to designated roads. This makes for a complete mess of the desert landscape, or for a motorized wonderland, depending on which way you lean. The three main peaks were all south of Jawbone Canyon which I approached from nearby Water Canyon. The designated roads I traveled are marked with BLM signs, something like "MK24", and kept in very good condition. Some of the roads are rougher and considerably more challenging.

Peak 4,100ft

Starting up Water Canyon from SR14, the HPS Chuckwalla Mtn is the most prominent summit to the west. I negotiated 5mi of good roads to get within 1/2mi of Peak 4,100ft on its south side. A rough motorcycle track leads up from the road to the summit. It has good views to the east of the Mojave Desert and some large solar farms that have been installed in the past few years.

Peak 4,482ft/Peak 4,354ft

Another 8mi of driving got me to the top of Peak 4,482ft, though the last 3.5mi were rough and steep, requiring high-clearance and 4WD. This spur road is mostly used by motorcycles and ATVs, but is wide enough for the jeep. Some big steps require more careful driving. On the north side of the summit, just before reaching the top, one finds lots of old car wrecks and other detrtitus from what looked like old mining operations. On one slope, it appears a dozen old cars were simply pushed over the edge to land hundreds of feet somewhere downslope. I could see how this provided great amusement for the guys responsible for the carnage. I parked at a small turnout at the summit and went down the south side on my way to Peak 5,345ft. I could have driven this section down to a saddle, but it didn't seem all that worth it and besides, I kinda needed more exercise. My route was about 1.5mi one way, making a big arc to the south before heading northwest to the summit. Peak 4,354ft was the most interesting of the day, featuring a small forest along the summit ridgeline, some modest class 3 scrambling and good views north into Jawbone Canyon and south to Chuckwalla and Cross Mtns. I left a register at this one, figuring it would get little traffic from the motorized crowd and have a better chance of lasting a few years. I made a more direct return to the jeep atop Peak 4,482ft, forgoing the road I'd used earlier to head straight up the West Slopes.

Blue Point

Back at the jeep, I returned along the rough spur road and then followed more good roads down into Jawbone Canyon, past and under the LA aqueduct. There were plenty of RVs, ATVs, and motorcycles circled about in various camps, though only the beginnings of the weekend crowds which were sure to start showing up in large numbers. Blue Point is a small bump of rock just off the north side of the newly-paved Jawbone Canyon Rd. The rock is really more green than blue and appears to have been partially quarried over the years, but apparently of no great value. I climbed to the top of this feature in less than 10 minutes, then went to the higher point behind it for a somewhat more encompassing view of Jawbone Canyon. There is a really nice view to the south, framed by Peak 4,482ft, Chuckwalla and Peak 4,354ft in the late afternoon sun. It would be nearly sunset by the time I got back to the jeep and time to call it a day. I showered where I'd parked in the small pit of the quarry, then headed back out to SR14. Quick but fun day...

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