Peak 7,740ft P300
Peak 7,900ft P750
Peak 7,660ft P300
Peak 6,540ft P300
Tollhouse BM P750
Peak 8,100ft

Mon, Oct 14, 2019

With: Tom Becht
Karl Fieberling

Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX


Our last of four days in the Inyos was designed to be a shorter one, allowing Karl and Tom to get home at a reasonable hour. Most of it was spent in the lower northwest part of the range where the temperatures are too high for the junipers and pinyons, leaving the hillsides drier and browner. After Karl left, Tom and I drove up SR168 for a pair of easy summits on the northernmost edge of the range.

Peak 7,740ft/Peak 7,900ft

With 800ft of prominence, Peak 7,900ft was the primary objective this morning. A steep and somewhat rough 4WD road goes over the saddle between these two peaks, more easily reached from the south at Harkless Flat than from the north. The north side of the saddle goes down quite steeply, more so than I was comfortable driving. As I've confessed to Tom, my cajones are not on par with my vehicles capabilities - probably a good thing for the jeep. From the saddle, we first visited Peak 7,740ft, then returned to the saddle and hiked up to Peak 7,900ft. Both are easy class 1-2 walks along ridges that offer scenic views on both sides. I left a register at the higher summit while capturing my companions once again racing to see who could log the summit on the peakbagger app. Though I've seen it dozens of times now, I still find it pretty amusing to watch. About an hour and twenty minutes for both peaks.

Peak 7,660ft

We returned to Harkless Flat and drove west to collect a peak we'd neglected four years ago when we climbed nearby Harkless Peak. At the time, I was chasing down peaks in Zdon's Desert Summits, but now I was getting less choosey. At the western end of Harkless Flat I nearly got the jeep stuck on a road crossing a dry lakebed with deep, soft dirt that ground the vehicle to a dead stop. Luckily, reverse pulled us out of it and there was a bypass whose purpose we only then discovered. We drove around to the southwest side of the summit where the spur road we followed ended, having to hike up the last bit of road to a saddle, then steep cross-country up a short, loose slope on the west side. A large, squat dead tree is embedded in the summit rocks and makes for a picturesque scene and open views. It took less than 15min to reach the summit.

Peak 6,540ft

This lower summit is found about 2.5mi northwest of Harkless Flat. We returned to the paved Death Valley Rd and then took a rough spur road up a side canyon and then across the south side of the peak to reach the road's highpoint on the west shoulder. We took about 20min for the easy hike on the gentle ridgeline to reach the top. It was after 11a by the time we returned and Karl decided he'd hit the road to head back to Santa Cruz. Tom and I soldiered on for the last two summits.

Peak Tollhouse BM/Peak 8,100ft

We drove both jeeps down to SR168 and then up towards Westgard Pass. Tollhouse BM rises on the south side of the highway, high above where the road constricts to one lane to pass through the narrowest section of the canyon. Just beyond this is a rough spur road that climbs to the saddle between these two peaks. Having done all the wheeling so far this trip, I let Tom use his jeep to drive us up this one. The road was in decent shape (for a jeep, anyways), the hikes to each summit taking less than 15min each. We failed to find the benchmark at Tollhouse BM, nor did we find a register as I half-expected. We left one of our own here, seeing that it has more than 800ft of prominence. The second summit was much flatter and the highpoint less obvious. Both made for steep climbs from the saddle, but fairly short and all class 2.

After returning to the highway, Tom and I parted ways. I had originally planned to spend another day or two outside before heading home, but as I was driving back down SR168 I slowly changed my mind and ended up driving home the same afternoon. Maybe a little homesick and missing my wife?

Submit online comments or corrections about the story.

More of Bob's Trip Reports

This page last updated: Thu Oct 24 09:20:06 2019
For corrections or comments, please send feedback to: