Today's summits were mostly clustered in the northwest corner of the Sierra
National Forest, though the first was located just inside Yosemite NP. I had
been to the area last in 2013 when I was chasing down P1Ks in the area,
including a failed visit to Hogan Mtn. I would have a chance to revisit that
one today, with a more successful conclusion. I had spent the night camped
outside Yosemite West along Henness Ridge Rd in the forest. I was up early to
drive out to SR41 and south to the park entrance.
This summit lies about a mile west of Yosemite's South Entrance. Marcus Sierra's
TR on PB gives all the needed information. I parked in the huge lot for the
just east of the entrance station, then
to pick up the road closed to public vehicles. There is
for the park rangers found along the road, a large
clearing for unknown purposes, and little else. But the road is nicely cleared
of downfall and makes for through forest. At the saddle
east of Mt. Savage, I picked up that leads one to the summit.
It had been by the fire crew only five days earlier, so it was
in great shape. Seems they don't clear the
to keep it "more secret". The hike/trail doesn't appear in any of the park
literature or website, so it's likely to remain so. It's really a very nice
hike with a large at providing
in all directions. There is a very busy register
, mostly entries from the Wawona fire crew. I only
photographed the first and
before returning back down the mountain via the same route.
I drove south out of Yosemite to Fish Camp, then up Summit Rd (Forest Rte 17)
to of Hogan Mtn. My route was nearly identical to the
one used by Marcus in 2019. I took 50min to climb the steep, forested slopes,
mostly with (though plenty of downfall) and a few
. are limited due to trees. I found some
of the cairns and trails from the Yosemite Mountain Ranch described by Marcus.
I followed them to a nearby that had slightly better views
than the summit, but trees still dominate the scene. I went back down to the
Jeep reversing the same route.
Returning to Fish Camp, I drove south on SR41 a few miles before plunging west
into the forest again, this time on Miami Mtn Rd (Forest Rte 126). The road
had been cleared by members of the public, making for some
to get through some of the cuts. Silver Knob
and Pilot Peak are a pair of modest summits found in this part of the forest.
I took FR6S63 to of Silver Knob where I was only 1/5mi
from the summit. I thought this might be a quick affair, but found
, including some poison oak. It would take me 20min to make
my way to , finding a small rock outcrop buried in trees
serving as the highpoint, with just a partial view . I
left here, figuring all the work it took to reach it made
it worthy. I tried a less direct route on the descent hoping to find less brush,
but the results and I don't think it offered any advantage.
I continued on 6S63 about a mile to a junction with 5S62. This road would take
me west to Pilot Peak, but it was . I could have
taken the time to clear it, but as I was less than a mile from the summit, I
just parked and walked the road. A (also blocked by
) leads to the summit from the northeast, making this one
considerably easier than Silver Knob. The summit is
mostly surrounded by trees, so again . Less than 40min
for the roundtrip effort. After
to the Jeep, I tried to drive north on various roads to my next destinations
further north, but came to find the roads all blocked by downfall - only the
major roads in this area had been cleared so far this year. I would need to
approach them from a different direction altogether.
I would spend the better part of the next three hours on the alternative drive
to the Chowchilla Mtn area. This was not unpleasant, giving me a chance to stop
in Oakhurst to pick up something for dinner, a few supplies at the Vons,
and a Starbucks, too. My route had taken me south on 41 to Oakhurst, then north
on SR49 to Chowchilla Mountain Rd. Google Maps suggested I use Round Tree
Saddle Rd as a shorter alternative and this almost worked, but was stopped by
downfall only a mile short of Round Tree Saddle. Back down I went, and then the
longer way via Chowchilla Mtn Rd. I stopped at to tackle
Peak 5,900ft, less than 1/5mi from the summit. The cross-country here was only
moderately brushy and it took less than 10min to make my way to
. An easy, but uninteresting summit.
More time was spent trying to drive further north to Iron Mtn and Peak 5,447ft,
but these eventually ended in failure due to .
I would have to
wait for another time - probably best to wait until Fall when the Forest Service
has had a chance to clear the lesser roads. I returned to Battalion Pass and
then went up Ten Mile Grade, happy to find it cleared all the way to Devil Peak
where a lookout is located. I had visited this P1K back in 2013 but wanted to
visit Chowchilla Mtn a few miles to the north along the same ridgeline.
was blocked by brush and not far past Devil
Peak, so I would have to walk most of the road. This was not entirely unwelcome
after so much driving, giving my legs a chance to stretch. Following Mark
Spencer's suggestion on PB from a 2020 visit, I hiked the road until due east of
the summit and went up , finding some heavy brush initially,
but this soon gave way to . The
is open to views in all directions, the best I found on
the day, with a fine one of Devil Peak to and the rugged
Devil Gulch drainage to . The snowy crest of the Clark Range in
Yosemite could be seen to . I found
left by Mark the previous summer and added my name to the bottom of the page.
Chowchilla Mtn was in the heart of the 2018 Ferguson Fire, and while many
pockets of forest were spared, there were where almost
every tree was left a charred snag. The fire
undoubtedly contributed to the abundance of downfall I'd encountered throughout
the area during my visit, and the difficulties ahead for the Forest Service in
clearing the roads.
As it was getting late, I thought I was done for the day as I
from Chowchilla Mtn. I found Crow Peak only a few miles south and figured I
could do it before sunset if conditions weren't too brushy. A road leads partway
along the rounded North Ridge to , leaving less than ten
minutes' walk to the summit along a rough that may
have been laid down during the firefighting efforts. There was downfall but
little brush along the way. is large and flattish, only
through the trees, many of
which were left unburned. I was back to the Jeep not long after 7p and ready
to call it a day. I drove to a saddle southwest of Crow Peak where I showered
and spent the night. It was a lovely spot from which the lights of the Central
Valley could be seen as evening morphed to night. I was only a few miles from
Roundtree Saddle and planned to head that way in the morning, but I really had
no idea if the road along the ridgeline in that direction had been cleared.
Luckily I had filled up on gas back in Oakhurst and could drive myself back out
of any dead-end without much concern. But that would be an exercise for the new