Peak 7,851ft P750
Peak 8,108ft P500
Peak 8,443ft P500
Corral BM P500
Peak 8,002ft P300
Peak 7,900ft
Peak 8,353ft P300
Peak 8,746ft P300
Peak 8,837ft P300
Peak 8,814ft P300

Oct 19, 2019
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX


My third day in the Southern Sierra was another day spent on the Kern Plateau, this time doing a bunch of short hikes which were often steep. Most of them had class 3 granite summit blocks, very typical of the entire area. One could spend days scrambing around on hundreds of rock outcrops found in Domelands and the surrounding areas. A few were class 4 which provided great challenges. The terrain is a mix of forest, brush and more open grass areas. The brush was ever-present, but never so heavy to be a real problem - a little weaving around avoided any real need to thrash around in the stuff. Most of these summits on the edge of the Kern Plateau had their best views to the southwest where Lake Isabella could be seen 5,000ft below. There are lots of this view in this photo collection.

Peak 7,851ft

I had driven a rough spur road off the decent Bartolas Rd to get within a mile of this summit on its east side. I camped here the night and started out on foot in the morning around 7:15a. This was one of the few summits I visited with no challenging summit rocks. Still, the mildly brushy summit provides open views looking south and west. I left a register here before heading back down. I ran across the old road I had tried to drive and used this to return to the jeep by 8:30a.

Peak 8,108ft

This one can be seen to the north of Peak 7,851ft while ascending that peak. I had hoped to use a network of roads on the northwest side of the mountain to drive near to the summit, but I found a gate off the main road and it is no longer open to vehicles. So I ended parking on the Bartolas Rd northeast of the summit with about 2/3mi each way. Not sure why I didn't drive a bit higher to a saddle east of the summit which would have made the effort a little easier. I took about 50min for the roundtrip. The summit had some easy class 3 rocks that gave open views all around. I left a register on this one, too, because they both have more than 700ft of prominence.

Peak 8,443ft

A nice little summit between Long Meadow and Cannell Meadow. There is a spur road from the north that gets within 1/5mi but it is gated at the main road and no longer open to vehicles. Despite some downfall along the road, it made a good route for the 1.5mi distance to the summit. The granite blocks at the summit made for some mildly challenging, but short scrambling. Good views in all directions.

Peak Corral BM

The peak is found northwest of Cannell Meadow. A rough (and brushy) spur road can get one within a mile of the summit on the southeast side. I got out to clip some of the worst offenders, but it was a pinstriping-fest. Probably better to just start from the main road at the Cannell Station. I went up an easy class 3 route on the southeast and south side, going down an easier class 2 route on the east side. Not much in the way of summit rocks on this one. I left another register here.

Peak Peak 8,002ft/Peak 7,900ft

The Cannell Rd goes south around the west side of Cannell Meadow for several miles before ending near the saddle between these two summits. Peak 8,002ft is the closest at just over 1/3mi, has some fun but easy class 3 scrambling and a register dating to 1996 with only a small handful of entries. Unfortunately the PVC tube it was housed in does a poor job of keeping the moisture out and the paper is in very poor shape. Peak 7,900ft was about 2/3mi from the saddle and had the best views of the day. It has several rock outcrops vying for the highest point. The two that seemed of equal height were about 50yds apart and both class 4. I leave it to someone else to determine which is highest.

Peak 8,353ft/Peak 8,746ft

The rough Dry Lake Rd leads to a saddle between these two summits, making them fairly short. Peak 8,353ft was the more challenging with a class 4 route on the northeast side. After gaining the summit, I found an easier but still stiff class 3 route on the southwest side. Peak 8,746ft has several difficult-looking pinnacles on lower subsidiary summits. The highpoint, however, is standard class 3 from the north side.

Peak 8,837ftft

This was the highest summit of the day and probably the easiest. A rough road goes up and over a saddle north of the summit and makes for a short hike through forest to an open, class 2 summit. Terry Flood had left a register here in 2009. Housed in a glass jar, it was in fine condition.

Peak 8,814ft

The second-highest summit and last of the day proved to be the most challenging though a very short approach. I went up a dicey class 4 crack on the northeast side before moving around to the west side where a second class 4 crack had to be surmounted to reach the highest rocks. I was a bit nervous about downclimbing these, so spent some time looking around for easier ways off, to some avail. I had to reverse the upper class 4 crack but then found a stiff class 3 way down the west side from there. The sun had set while I was poking around the summit rocks and it was nearly 6p by the time I finished up back at the jeep. I moved the jeep across the road to a flat spot where I decided to spend the night. The wind had picked up strongly while I was on the last few summits (making those class 4 moves a bit trickier). This would make for a pretty cold shower, but at least I could warm myself with the jeep's heater afterwards...


HyltonHiker comments on 12/03/20:
A little Etymology here on this so called "Peak 8002ft": First of all this is Norm Hylton Pk. I named it after my late grandfather who loved the Kern Plateau so much he homesteaded and ONE of the first to homestead a cabin and the Hylton camp which still exists today at Horse Mdw. My grandpa did alot for the comunity of Kernville where he lived, he was a Sargent for the Kern County Sheriffs Office for 30+ years and head of the Search & Rescue. I cant get into full details here as the story is to long. John Newman who named it Peak Abue allowed me to change the name in honor of my grandfather, I know a better register needs to be placed up there and I wish you would have left one of your small tin ones up there but I have not got around to doing it. I encourage ANYONE who decides to to this peak and write a report on it to use the name "Norm Hylton PK" it's NOT just Peak 8002ft!!!!
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