Peak 5,521ft P500 PD
Peak 6,623ft P300
Jacks BM P300

Sep 3, 2021
Jacks BM
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 GPX Profiles: 1 2

In a repeat from 2020, the National Forests have enacted a blanket closure to deal with stretched firefighting resources. This one is from Sep 1-17, but I suspect will last longer. This leaves the National Parks and BLM lands for Labor Day weekenders to fight over. Yosemite permits would be impossible and SEKI seems like it could be crowded, so I opted for BLM in the Southern Sierra around Kennedy Meadows. On my way there, I stopped in the Tehachapi area to pick up a small handful of summits before it got too warm out.

Peak 5,521ft

This unnamed summit is found north of SR58 and the town of Tehachapi. The summit and south side of the peak are part of Lehigh Trails, property owned by Lehigh Cement Company which has an active quarry to the east of the trails. The Tehachapi Mountain Trails Association has developed it as a bike park, though it is open for hiking as well. $5 donation is required for day-use (not really a donation then, is it?). I parked at the west entrance off Burnett Rd, about 4 other vehicles already there when I started off around 9:20a. I followed the trail east, then northeast on a little-used ranch road that leads to a locked gate (which explains why it sees little use). I went over the fence then up the old ranch road continuing on the other side, making its way up the peak's South Ridge. The old road is crossed many times by the bike trail descending from the summit. I stuck to the road to avoid cyclists, but there was only a single one I crossed paths with the whole way up and down. There are no trees or shrubs on the slopes, just grass and evidence of much grazing (though no cattle to be seen today). It took just under an hour to make my way to the summit where several bike trails converge. There are several small instruments at the top, a class 2 boulder holding the high ground. I walked northeast from the summit to get a view looking north and to investigate a possible route to the higher Peak 5,922ft in that direction. It looks like a use trail (maybe an old firebreak?) continues in the right direction, but the 3mi distance was more than I wanted to do today. Besides, I think most of it is on private ranch property. This would be a nice moonlight outing, maybe bringing my bike along. I returned back over the summit and then back the way I'd come, finishing just after 11a.

Peak 6,623ft

This one is located south of SR58 and the town, a mile northeast of the Tehachapi Mountain Park. Located on private property, I had no real idea if I could reach it. There didn't appear to be any homes about the summit in the satellite view, but there were some on the road through Indian John Spring to the south of it. I found the road gated near the park boundary, so I parked in one of the campsites found on the south side of the road. My initial effort was to hike through the forest understory on the south side of the road, still on park property. This worked well enough, but it led to several homesites tucked in the canyon just outside the park. I decided this was too close and retreated. My second effort crossed the road just past the gate, going steeply up the hillside to get out of view of the road below. This felt much better, taking me up to the NW Ridge that I could follow to the summit. I had to cross several dirt roads that showed signs of regular use, so I was cautious in doing so, getting out of view as quickly as possible. I spent a full hour in getting to the summit where I found a small boulder at the highpoint, buried in the trees. The return took only half as long, finishing by 11:30a.

Jacks BM

This summit is located at the west end of Cummings Valley, about 20min southwest of Tehachapi. This area is far more rural, and one finds a great many American and "Thin Blue Line" flags, atop the various flagpoles sprinkled throughout the area. There is a large water tank near the summit, allowing me to drive within a few hundred feet of the top. Grassy slopes lead to the top, crowned by a large class 3 summit rock. A large man with a large dog watched me from his nearby property as I hiked up to the top, the dog barking all the while. I took a few photos looking north and south, then retreated.

I had plans to visit a few other summits in the gated Bear Valley Community. I visited one of the local realtors much as I had a decade ago, hoping to get a pass to allow me though the manned gate. Unlike last time, I was told the realtor would have to accompany me to specific properties. This would not do, so I thanked her for her time and left. I will need a new strategy, it seems...


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