Zahniser Peak PD
Poopout Hill 2x
Peak 5,900ft
Mountain Home Peak P500
Peak 4,900ft P300

Sat, May 14, 2022
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profile
Poopout Hill previously climbed Sat, Jul 2, 2011


Zahniser Peak - Poopout Hill

My third and last day in the San Bernardino Mountains was primariy focused on reaching Zahniser Peak, a 10,000-foot summit of dubious distinction. It lies in the shadow of San Gorgonio and a host of other higher summits, all of which have more prominence than this minor bump. It lies along California's Pacific Divide, a collection of 500+ summits I've been whittling away at over the years at a slow pace. This one struck me as almost inconsequential. Almost. It has been bugging me for a few year now, and it seemed like a good time to do it. I lies just off the South Fork Trail, possibly the most popular route to San Gorgonio Mtn. I had used this same trail eleven years earlier when I was visiting the other 10,000-foot summits that surround it, while chasing down the HPS list.

The parking lot was near full when I started from the South Fork TH around 6:45a. I immediately got behind making overnight trips to San Gorgonio, and it took about 10min before I was able to work my way past them. After that, the trail grew quiet for the rest of the morning. I ran across only two solo hikers on the way, and a few late starting parties on my way down. Much of the route I traveled had burned in the 2015 Lake Fire, leaving thousands of standing snags and slopes covered in buckthorn and other brush. Very few trees seem to have taken root, as yet. It took me two hours to reach Dry Lake, and another 45min to make my way to the summit of Zahniser, all but the last ten minutes or so on good trails. The views improve as one climbs past Dry Lake where unburned forest is found along with snowy views of the north side of San Gorgonio. There wasn't much in the way of views on the tree-covered summit of Zahniser. An ammo box found on a rock outcrop was empty. It didn't really seem worth leaving a register. I debated with myself on the way up whether I should continue to San Gorgonio, but in the end I decided I'd rather visit some new summits in the afternoon rather than revisiting an old friend. On my way down, I paid a quick side visit to Poopout Hill, a bit of stat padding and an excuse to take a short break. It was close to 12:30p by the time I returned to the TH, leaving me plenty of time for the afternoon agenda. It had started to grow warm, however, and would only get warmer as each of the next summits was progressively lower in elevation.

Peak 5,900ft

I drove down SR38 to Angeles Oaks, then onto Forest Road 1N12, a long truck trail that descends through the Thomas Hunting Grounds and rejoining back onto SR38 near where it exits out of the range. This is the same road used to visit Constance Peak, and HPS summit. All three of these last summits are most easily accessed from it, too. Peak 5,900ft is a drive-up with a high-clearance vehicle. The spur road reaching to it is in good shape and the summit area has been leveled some for a nice campsite. No one was using it today, but there was a large Jeep club occupying campsites at the base of the north side in the Thomas Hunting Grounds. Mountain Home Peak Lower down the Forest Road, Mountain Home Peak lies on the east side of the road and has more than 500ft of prominence. It is covered in heavy brush, but there is an old firebreak that makes this much easier. Still, it is steep in places and some of the terrain has been intentially left in awkward hillocks to discourage motor vehicles from trying to drive on the old firebreak. As a side disbenefit, it makes hiking along it a little inconvenient, too. There is a use trail up the steep second half with lots of sand. I spent 20min to reach the summit and less than 15min for the return.

Peak 4,900ft

This summit is found about a mile and a half west of Mountain Home Peak. The Forest Road I followed passes within a quarter mile of the summit on its steep north side. It was one of the steepest slopes I ascended this year, about 300ft up through oak woodland with a moderately brushy understory that included some poison oak. The soil was loose, making the ascent extra tiring. I suspect there may be easier ways to do this one. Still, I got through the steep portion in only 15min, so not too bad. After emerging on the summit ridge I found myself on an old trail/firebreak on the southwest side. I had no idea it was there, so I don't know where it starts or ends, but it made for a decent foot trail. It took only a few more minutes to use it in conjunction with a short stretch of cross-country to find my way to the summit. There was a metal survey marker found there, commonly use throughout the Angeles NF. I left a register at the rock outcrop nearby, then reversed the route back down, taking only about 5min for the descent. It was nearing 2:30p when I finished up, having run out of unvisited summits along this stretch of roadway. After taking a jug shower where I had parked, I drove the remaining truck trail down to SR38, then on to San Diego where I would be hanging out for the next four weeks or so...


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