Zzyzx Peak P300
Airway Peak P300

Wed, Feb 21, 2018
Zzyzx Peak
Airway Peak
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPXs: 1 2 Profiles: 1 2


These were just a few easy hikes on my way back from Las Vegas. Neither is particularly hard, nor otherwise memorable, but they were pleasant enough for whiling away a few hours.

Zzyzx Peak

Derived after the oddly named exit off Interstate 15, Zzyzx has a strange history worth taking a look at - one of many such tales in the California desert. I parked just off the exit on the south side of the freeway and made a loop of it from there. With gray, heavily overcast skies, it made for dull brown pictures of the desert. I ascended from the northeast and east, descending back down the north side and returning along the edge of the freeway. It took about 45min to make the ascent and a bit more for the longer return, nothing harder than your standard desert class 2. It appears that the peak could be climbed from any side with similar results. I had planned to leave a register here when I didn't find an existing one, but somehow forgot.

Airway Peak

The Rasor Rd exit, six miles to the southwest of Zzyzx Rd, is similarly forlorn and in need of some TLC. There is a lone gas station and tons of junk and trash strewn about on the south side. The north side of the exit fares even worse. There used to be an airway beacon station located on the south side (and an old airstrip is still visible in the satellite view) which gave rise to the location name of Beacon Station seen on some maps. I parked on the north side of the freeway and hiked from there, mostly cross-country though there are utility roads to access the numerous powerline towers that traverse the desert here. Like, Zzyzx Peak, Airway Peak is mostly limestone and class 2 from any direction. There is a large cairn at the summit and not forgetting this time, I left a new register here before heading down. I spent about an hour and a half on the effort before resuming my drive to Santa Barbara. My timing allowed me to skirt through the LA area between the dreaded rush hour times, and though I would describe the traffic as heavy, it was moving close to the speed limit the whole time. The sight of the Pacific Ocean a few hours after leaving the Mojave Desert was quite a change of pace. A welcome sight, but I think in the long run I still prefer the desert vistas...

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