Tumarion Peak P500 LLT
Peak 1,762ft P300
Peak 1,260ft
Peak 1,418ft P300
Peak 2,195ft P300

Sat, Nov 12, 2022

With: Tom Becht
Iris Ma
Tom Grundy
Karl Fieberling

Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profile


Tumarion Peak - Peak 1,762ft

Tumarion Peak lies in Arizona's Mohave Mountains, inside the Havasu Wilderness, part of the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. I had first spied it in 2019 when climbing the higher Powell Peak, a few miles to the northeast. It appears craggy from all directions and looked to make for a tough scramble, though it would prove to be class 2. It is also found on the Leaping Lizard Tribe's list in the #10 slot. Iris had seen it when we visited the area in 2021, and it was high on her list for this trip. It can be reached from the north, east or southeast. We chose the southeast route, starting from BLM land just outside and south of a square mile private inholding. The roads we followed were pretty rough, suitable only for 4WD and high-clearance. Luckily, it wasn't very long, taking about half an hour from our campsite near the highway. There are few signs along the way, and none at several key junctions. A GPX track of the driving route or a good study of the maps and satellite view is needed to avoid getting lost.

We had driven as far as the Jeep was able and ready to start out just after 7a. There is a modest cable fenceline around the periphery of the inholding, mostly designed to keep vehicles out. One can avoid the property altogether by heading west for a third of a mile before turning north, but the obvious wash we followed had us inside the corner of the property for a short while before exiting its west side. The wash was generally easy to follow with burro trails providing firmer footing from time to time when we could find them. The wash eventually narrows and shortly before the end of the first hour we came upon the only obstacle, a 15-foot dryfall where the wash narrows considerably. TomG went up this class 5 obstacle directly, the rest of us taking the convenient class 2 bypass on the left side. Soon after, it was time to leave the drainage and begin the climb up to Tumarion. We had expected this to provide us with some scrambing challenges, but it turned out to be class 2 pretty much the entire way to the top. The lower slopes had some steep, loose choss that had several in our party looking for a safer alternative - found by traversing further around to the east side where a more congenial ascent gully can be located. The rest of us went up the SE Ridge more directly, and if the scrambling wasn't what we'd hoped, the views were. A couple of convenient ramps kept the grade to class 2 through short cliff bands, and after an hour and three quarters we found our way to the summit without any real difficulties.

At the base of the large summit cairn, behind a white-painted rock, we found the expected Leaping Lizard Tribe register. It had 16 pages of entries dating to 1994, most recently in 2021. We recognized a number of the more recent entries - Bob Cable, Stav Basis, Adam Walker, Don Palmer. Most of the entries between 1994 and 2002 were various members of the Tribe, most notably Tim O'Conner and Joel Dugdale. The views were quite fine. The Colorado River can be seen to the north, west and far to the south where it flows into Lake Havasu. Rugged volcanic terrain borders the river on both banks and nearly as far as the eye can see. Karl had been the last to arrive at the summit, about 20min after the first arrival. His knees were giving him trouble per usual, but they did better than he expected. We had a long-ish stay at the summit to give Karl a chance to rest before we all started back down.

Bonus Peak 1,762ft is sort-of on the way back and all but Karl decided to pay it a visit. The direct route we followed drops first to the original wash, then up and over two intermediate saddles, crossing two minor drainages on our way to the summit about a mile and a half to the southeast. It would take a little under an hour to get between the two, an enjoyable cross-country jaunt without any difficulties. The summit offers a bird's-eye view of the private inholding to the east. There is a collection of vehicles lined up neatly in several rows, one of them an assortment of older Jeeps in various stages of disrepair. We spent about 15min on the summit, taking in the views and leaving a register before we started down. We descended the southeast side, a class 2-3 effort that brought us back down to the main wash we had started in. Once there, we had another mile to retrace our original route back to the Jeeps.

Peak 1,260ft

This minor summit was found on the drive back out to our camp and the highway. Able to start from a wash less than half a mile to the southwest, Karl decided it was easy enough that he would join us. It took but 15min to reach the open summit, with views of Tumarion to the northwest and Lake Havasu to the south. We left a second register here before returning once again to the Jeeps.

Peak 1,418ft

After returning to our camp, Karl packed up and headed for home. TomG and Iris went off to climb Shangri-La Butte and Little Haystack near Crab Claw. TomB had climbed Shangri-La the day before and gave it a glowing review, "the best scramble of the year." TomB and I then went to climb a few minor unnamed summits to occupy us the rest of the afternoon. Both are located up Craggy Wash north of Lake Havasu City. Unbeknownst to us, it is a hugely popular dispersed camping area on BLM lands. A well-graded road runs east through the wash for a number of miles in the Mohave Mountains. We had some trouble locating the start of this road as the topo map we were using did not match what we found on the ground. After much completely unnecessary rough trail driving, we stumbled upon the good road that would have been obvious had we looked at the satellite view. Oh well. There are many folks camping along the wash on the way to the first summit, Peak 1,418ft. Most look like they are living there for the long haul and appear to be pretty close to the edge of the grid, and society in general. We parked at an open campsite about 1/3mi from the summit on its north side. We took 15min to hike up a use trail in a wash, then class 2-3 scrambling up the north side to reach the summit. There is a small solar-powered installation here, but we didn't examine it to determine its non-obvious purpose. It may be to simply power a few nighttime warning lights for the nearby airport. The summit affords a nice view overlooking both the airport and the city to the south.

Peak 2,195ft

Leaving my Jeep where we'd parked for the previous peak, we took Tom's Jeep higher up the wash past more longterm campers, taking about 20min to cover 3-4 miles. A little-used spur road servicing a utility tower got us with 1/4mi on the northwest side of Peak 2,195ft. Steep, but all class 2 terrain got us to the summit in 15min. This one has a more remote feel to it than the previous peak, with views overlooking a large swath of the Mohave Mountains, with the range highpoint, Crossman Mtn, about 10mi to the southeast. A register had been left here in 2009 by Barbara Lilley. It had a handful of other entries, including CA resident Jim Retemeyer. It was after 4p by the time we got back to the Jeep, about 20min or so before sunset. We would drive back to retrieve my Jeep, take showers in the fading light, then drive to the Hanger 24 Brewery once again. TomG and Iris would meet us soon afterwards. Following dinner we headed north to I-40 and a campsite on the north side of the Mohave Mtns where we planned to hike the next morning...


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