Peak 4,356ft P500
Quartz Hill P1K
Anderson Peak P1K
West Point BM P300
White Cloud Mountain P750
Condrey Mountain P1K
Scraggy Mountain P500 CS

Sat, Oct 26, 2019
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 4 5 GPX


Day two of a NorCal roadtrip in the North Coast ranges saw me exploring a large area between Scott Valley and the Oregon border. I had hoped to get to Happy Camp by evening but didn't even get close. I didn't get to the last 4-5 summits I'd planned because I got distracted by other things in the areas I was exploring first. That's one of the advantages of being out on your own - you can change the itinerary on a whim and no one will complain.

Peak 4,356ft

This is a pretty minor peak that lies above McAdams Creek north of Scott Valley on the edge of the Klamath NF. I had driven up a lonely road to spend the night and climbed this one first thing the next morning. I started on a rough, brushy 4WD road that I had backed off on driving the evening before, then up steeply to a ridgeline where a good road is found. It seems likely to be a logging road for the timber interest that owns the land adjacent to the NF. My various devices had varying opinions as to whether the summit is inside or outside the NF. I think its safe to say my route from the north was pretty out of the way and unlikely to attract attention. Not much to be seen from the summit as it lies a bit too low.

Quartz Hill

I thought this was going to be easy. Quartz Hill lies on the northern edge of Scott Valley and has a lookout on the summit. Dennis Poulin's report on PB made it seem a walk in the park. I found no such love. The topo map shows an east and west approach to the the lookout, so I tried the east approach first. About a mile before the summit, the road is gated for Private Property and No Trespassing. It was only after driving up here that I recalled doing the same thing on a previous trip in May when I tried it on a whim without researching it. So I drove back to Scott Valley and tried the west approach. The turnoff to start climbing up the hill is completely unsigned and not located where the topo indicates (I had run into this problem back in May, too). This time I found that if you drive a hundred yards further north you'll find two options that skirt the homesteads along the roadway. Several unfenced dogs came out to chase my jeep up the road - probably not a good idea to walk this if you don't have high-clearance. A locked gate is reached with half a mile to go, but it's difficult to turn your vehicle around here. Lots of backwards driving before I could manage it. On the walk up to the lookout there's another gate (closed but not locked) and a menacing "Premises under video surveilance". That's almost certainly untrue. The lookout at the top was closed up either for good or for the season, hard to tell. I took some pictures of the views and the benchmark before returning the way I came. The dogs of course chased me again on the drive down.

Scott Mtns Lookout/Anderson Peak/West Point BM

These three are located at the southwest end of the Scott Bar Mountains. Good forest roads climb from Scott River Road to all three destinations, though only the lookout is a drive-up. I visited it first and found it abandoned by the USFS to the elements which are doing a decent job of making it forever unusable. I next visited Anderson Peak, the P1K several miles to the northeast. I was able to drive to the end of the road at the forest boundary, about 2/3mi from the summit. The summit lies outside the national forest, but there's almost no chance anyone would find you - there aren't other roads on the private timber lands around the summit area. Most of the cross-country is open slopes or easy forest understory. I did find some brushy rocks to struggle through that were easy to bypass as I found on the way down. There are 2-3 small rock outcrops vying for the highest point, the eastern one appears highest. It also has the best views, with Mt. Shasta seen far to the southeast. After returning to the jeep, I paid a visit to West Point BM, located roughly between the lookout and Anderson. A decent road gets one within a quarter mile of the summit with some sort of trail/firebreak running all the way to the summit. I had no luck locating the benchmark, however, and views were somewhat limited by trees.

White Cloud

After returning to the paved Scott River Rd, I spent some time driving north to SR96, following the meandering Scott River. The river joins the much larger Klamath River at SR96. Here I drove northeast about 8mi to find my way to Forest Road 12. This excellently graded dirt/gravel road winds its way up into the Siskiyou Mountains north of the highway. White Cloud was a named summit with more than 700ft of prominence that had grabbed my attention when I was looking around on maps before the trip. A rougher spur road gets one within a very short distance of the summit on the southwest side, a mildly brushy but short hike gets one to the top. The area burned badly in the 2016 Gap Fire, leaving more brush and less forest years later, and not very pretty.

Condrey Mountain

After returning to the jeep from White Cloud, my plans took an abrupt turn. I recalled that there was a P1K somewhere thousands of feet higher to the north. Encouraged by the good condition of Forest Road 12, I decided to go up to Condrey Mountain. Road 12 doesn't go the whole way, but other roads also in good condition made the long drive not nearly as time-consuming as it might otherwise have been. I parked where the road comes within 1/3mi of the summit, surprised to find two other vehicles parked there, one a 12 passenger van and guessed it was a geology class field trip. I met up with the professor and one of the students on the way down, though never saw the others that had signed the register found at the summit. Condrey is very unpeak-like, large, rounded and sprawling, and the hike to reach it was rather uninteresting. The mountain has incredible views, however, easily making up for its other deficiencies. In all directions were ridgeline and mountain folds, one behind the other, stretching off for almost 100mi, a most sublime scene. One of the nearby peaks to the northwest looked rather craggy and got my attention.

Scraggy Mountain

I found out it had a name, more than 700ft of prominence and was only a couple of miles from the road network I had driven in. I drove back the way I'd come a few miles to find myself within a mile and a half of the peak. I parked and was soon starting off. Almost immediately I was loving this. Quite unexpectedly, I found myself on the PCT where it runs along the crest of the Siskiyou Mtns. It was a nice bit of trail through forest and then open terrain, but I had to leave it after less than 1/3mi. I followed along a connecting spur ridgeline that had a bit of everything - forest, brush, scrambling, and sometimes all at once. Lots of downed trees, large boulders, confusing terrain, steep slopes, in a word - adventure. It was easily the most fun I had in the last two days and I'd come across it quite by accident. After some time and effort, I found my way to the craggy summit which turned out to be a collection of 4-5 summit pinnacles stretched out over 300yds. I was making my way along the ridge to the one furthest north, indicated on my GPSr (and derived from the LoJ database), when I had to climb over an intervening one because I couldn't get around it easily. I was then surprised to find the pinnacle I'd climbed was higher than the two further north, saving me some effort. Looking south, it appeared the one furthest in that direction was higher yet. As compensation, I found a glass jar holding a register on the pinnacle I'd climbed. It dated to 1971 and had more than a dozen entries, mostly from before 2000, the last dated 2012. After photographing the pages and returning it, I went back along the ridgeline to climb the higher summit, also class 3. This higher point had no register, a little to my disappointment. It seems Scraggy used to be somewhat popular but has fallen into obscurity. I have to say, it was one of the better summits I've come across in this part of the state. It would be after 5:30p by the time I returned and time to call it a day. It seems a cold front had come through during the day, dropping temperatures 20 degrees or more. It was 35F when I started back down the mountain. I had to drop about 3,000ft until it was 45F and more reasonable for taking a shower. I then drove all the way down to the Klamath River where the temperature was 52F, and found a place to spend the night by the river. Much better...


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