Trailer Peak P300
Peak 4,733ft P300
Peak 4,594ft P300
Goat Mountain P500
Peak 4,380ft P300

Wed, Mar 13, 2019
Goat Mountain
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profile

Kicking off another desert roadtrip, possibly the last of the season before things get too warm, I spent most of the day driving from San Jose out to Barstow, about 6hrs with a few brief stops. From Barstow, I headed south on SR247 to tackle some easy peaks on either side of the highway. The weather today was suberb, mid-50s with a moderate wind blowing to keep things chilly but not too cold - quite a welcome change from those last days in the Palm Springs area the during last trip when things got too warm. The desert continues to come alive from the winter rains, first greening up, now insects taking wing. Butterflies were out in abundance the unfortunate ones plastering my car with their bodies and small splurts of yellow-orange with each hit on the windshield. Most of the hiking today was cross-country, none of it harder than class 2.

Trailer Peak/Peak 4,733ft

This was the only hike of real substance, a a 3mi loop with about 1,400ft, taking in two summits. Both are located in the Ord Mtns, on the east side of SR247, south of where the highway goes over a pass on the shoulder of Stoddard Ridge. I drove a rough dirt road in from the highway for 2mi to get me within half a mile of Trailer Peak to the north. It took only 20min to reach the modest summit with a fine view of Lucerne Valley and the snowy San Gabriels to the south. I spied a small blue and white pill bottle tucked into the summit cairn, guessing at its contents. Sure enough, it was a Smatko/Yates register, dated from 1977. They were the ones to dub the summit as "Trailer Peak". Jeff Moffat was the only other party to sign it, having visited only six months ago - I was beaten by a fellow SCer.

The higher Peak 4,733ft lies a mile and a quarter to the north along a connecting ridgeline with a 400-foot drop to a saddle between them. This made for a pleasant hike that took about an hour at a casual pace. Like most of the terrain in this part of the Mojave currently, the ground was alive with an abundance of green plants and tiny flowers in yellow and purple. It was almost impossible to take a step anywhere without crushing part of one plant or another. The second summit has three points vying for the highpoint. The middle seems to be the highest, but I found no register at any of the locations. It was nearly 4p by the time I returned to the jeep where I'd left it in the wash.

Peak 4,594ft

This minor summit is found along Stoddard Ridge, just west of the highway and the pass it goes over. There is ample parking off the west side of the road. The hike follows along the ridge, about 3/4mi each way. There are two summits of similar height. The closer one is Knar BM, but the higher one is to the west another quarter mile further along the ridge. There was no register at either point that I could locate.

Goat Mountain

This one is found about 2mi ENE of Peak 4,594ft on the east side of the highway, and the only officially named summit of the day. There is a telecom installation on the NE side that most cars can drive to. The road continues past the installation for a short distance to an overlook, high-clearance recommended for this part. An old road continues higher, but there is an unsigned fence blocking access. I hiked about half a mile each way to the summit, finding a register dated to 2004. Barbara and Gordon had visited in 2006, leaving a better register and glass jar to contain it. Seems a fairly popular peak, the upper half made up of large, rounded granite rocks that offer a modicum of scrambling.

Peak 4,380ft

This last summit is located another 2.5mi north of Goat Mtn, also on the east side of the highway. I drove back down the road, past the telecom installation to a fork, then took backroads for a couple of miles to get myself within half a mile of the summit on the southwest side. The sun was getting ready to set but this was a quick one, taking only half an hour to get myself up and down. The setting sun left a fine, soft glow on the desert greenery, a most enjoyable way to close out the day. The wind had died to almost nothing, making it easier for me to shower as the sun began to fade behind hills to the west. Five summits in five hours - not a bad way to start the trip...


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