Monday, December 15, 2014

Yucca Peak (Desert National Wildlife Refuge) - 12/11/14

Nice, large barrel cactus overlooking the city off in the distant haze.

“Yes, left around that notch, then right up the ridge to the top…", instructs our hike leader.

Gass Peak in the south distance as we proceed higher.
 On a blustery Thursday last week, eleven hikers climbed Yucca Peak, a first for the club. Following Jim Boone's description on his website "Bird and Hike," they climbed up past the fossil beds in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge after beginning across the wash at the same trailhead 9 miles up Mormon Well Rd. Yucca Peak is a small peak but it is the highest one you see from this parking trailhead up to the left. The writer is not sure if the group headed up through the fossil beds or if they bypassed the beds and went straight for the peak. The distance is almost the same.

9/11ths of us resting, and discussing important breaking news at the peak.

Descending back down around the bend.
  The route climbs up the ridge, around an intermittent outcropping and on up to the peak along the ridge. For their descent, they tried to drop all the way down through the adjacent wash but found a non-negotiable crack in the upper portion. Climbing up and around, they found the same entrance to the wash as was done in the fossil beds hike and came on out. After the hike, they visited the lonely rangers at the fabulous DNWR Visitor Center! Thanks to Laszlo for the photos and bits of information.

4.5 miles; 2300 feet elevation gain

Up and around a non-negotiable drop.

Steve jumps down the "negotiable" drop.

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