Today was an easy day tagging summits found off Camp Rock Rd, a well-maintained
dirt road that runs from Daggett in the north along Interstate 40 to Lucerne
Valley far to the south
along SR247. The southern portion of this road is paved, but the stretch
we would travel through the Ord and Newberry Mtns was all dirt and gravel.
the peaks were very difficult, most short outings that would take less than an
hour. We left Iris' car under the powerlines where we'd spent the night and used
the jeep to get us around for the day.
Su Casa BM
This was the most prominent of the day's peaks and the easiest, thanks to a
road that goes nearly to the summit. From where we'd camped, we headed WSW along
the powerline road for 2.5mi before turning left onto a decent track. This
road goes straight for several miles before becoming steeper and rougher, but
reaching nearly to the summit on its northwest side. The walk to the top
from where we parked
took less than five minutes. Mark Adrian had left a register
here a year earlier inside the large-ish cairn we found there. There
was far more driving on this one than actual walking, with views stretching for
many miles, Mt. Baldy visible far to the southwest.
After returning to Camp Rock Rd, we drove south for some miles. Our first
stop was Peak 4,477ft, the northernmost summit in the Ord Mtns. Using Ord Mtn
Rd, we got within about 3/4mi on the east side
of the peak and went up the SE Ridge, taking half an hour. We left
a register before retreating back via the same route.
Found 4.5mi further east, this is the westernmost summit in the Rodman Mtns. A
pipeline road to the north in Kane Wash can be used to access the NW Ridge,
making for a roundtrip hike of just over 2mi. A new pipel
was being laid during
our visit, but there was no work going on at the moment as it was Sunday. We
found what I thought was a Smatko register, but turned out to be much newer,
left by Andy's pals Frank Yates and Ray Nelson. It was good to see
them carrying on the tradition. On our way back we caught sight of a trio of
Iris showed as much excitement upon seeing them as she would
have had they been bighorn or other native species. There didn't seem to be
a whole lot for them to eat out here but they didn't seem to be distressed in
the least, except maybe a little concerned about our presence. We let them be
and continued back to the jeep.
Our next peak was another 3.5mi to the southeast, just south of Camp Rock Rd,
a standalone summit sandwiched between the Ord, Rodman and Fry Mountains.
A spur road got us within half a mile of Peak 4,348ft on
the NNW side. It took us all of 15min to find our way to the
This last one was another 6.5mi further southeast in the Fry Mountains and the
only officially named summit of the day. I had been to the Fry Mtns to climb the
range HP with Karl three years earlier, but we'd neglected this one. Since
then, I found that Gordon and Barbara had been to it which renewed my interest
in visiting the range. We had to drive more than six miles off Camp Rock Rd
on sandy, whoop-dee-doo roads (yes, that's an actual
off-road term) that
were a bit slow-going. Our efforts got us within 3/4mi on
the NE side of the
peak. As we were starting out, we found ourselves crossing a desert motorcycle
race course, with one racer going by every minute or so. From
the summit we could see that there was an aid station for
the race on the desert floor to the southeast.
We found the expected register,
though John Vitz had beaten the dynamic duo to
the summit by some 13yrs. There was only one other entry and we managed to
squeeze our own onto the same first page.
Finishing up shortly before 2p, we still
had almost an hour of driving to get back to Iris' car and then the long drive
home to end the road trip...