11 December 2016

Eureka Peak

Joshua Tree National Park

Back at Black Rock Campground, we are ready to start what was the main event for me. I have already collected one very reasonable but delisted peak and I was hoping to add a second. Bill, the leader, had been hoping to get it relisted so it is just another peak on the much more than Hundred Peaks list. Bill won and the peak is relisted. There are at least a couple more delisted peaks around for me to collect still. This was delisted for being a "long drive up", but that seems silly when we are about to hike up it entirely on trail from a spot a few minutes from the highway. There is a way to drive up, but there is certainly no requirement to go up that way.

bits of paving in the campground
Setting off across the campground to find the actual trail.

California Hiking and Riding Trail
Stepping onto a segment of the California Riding and Hiking Trail, a long trail through California that never quite was.

We head off an a new direction this morning to get onto a different set of trails. First up is a bit of the California Riding and Hiking Trail. This was a long trail that was partly built before becoming segments. The attempt had a lot of lessons that informed those who later successfully created the Pacific Crest Trail. It is sandy and rather flat where we travel it.

desert hiking
Some sandy walking.

Next up is the Fault Trail. It is still sandy, but there is a hill along the way.

along the Fault Trail
Bill found some genuine geologists along the Fault Trail.

A couple more junctions and we are on the Eureka Peak Trail. It is a lot like the trails yesterday, being in a shallow canyon with a wash at the bottom. This one is just a bit wider, at least at first.

higher land ahead
There is some higher land ahead.

Eureka Peak Trail
More sandy wash bottom for the Eureka Peak Trail.

wide and sandy
Just a lot of sand and very little uphill.

The canyon gets narrower and suddenly there actually is a climb. It is a bit steeper than the usual trail grade. We climb up to a saddle and a view of the peak.

up a bit of hill
Finally a climb to get us up high.

Once the climb is done, we follow trail that rolls a little before finally getting near to the road. From there, it is one last easy climb to the top.

San Jacento
San Jacinto rising over the south.

There are a bunch of people on peakbagger, so there is a quick excursion to the east peak before settling down to lunch on the named peak.

Eureka Peak
Eureka Peak with some occupants from Eureka East.

east of East
East of Eureka East.

After the quick visit, we head back again to join the rest who stayed on Eureka Peak. I search for and fail to find the Eureka benchmark. It would be a good candidate for a county line marker, too, but if there was one it is gone now. There was a benchmark that looks to be in the process of being set on the hillside between the two peaks.

Eureka East
Eureka East from Eureka Peak.

trail and road
Trail and road up to Eureka Peak.

San Gorgonio
San Gorgonio to the west.

town of Yucca Valley
The town of Yucca Valley off to the north.

We head down again largely by the same route we came up. There are options. We could continue on Eureka Peak Trail until it drops back down to the California Riding and Hiking Trail and take that back. There are a couple other routes heading northwest on our way. We do change it a little to hit another provisional bump listed on peakbagger.

wash of a trail
Heading back the way we came.

©2016 Valerie Norton
Posted 18 December 2016

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