Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
South Side Sightings...
While there is yet to be an established trail leading up to Hershberger Peak, there are numerous available routes. To approach this high point from the south you may start out in Alamo Canyon (trail 104), split off up Caballero Canyon (trail 103), then turn left up the first major drainage into Hershberger Canyon. This narrow drainage moves easily up for the first mile or so then begins to hit some nice shelves. There are no real climbing challenges, and for the most part it provides stable footings if not solid rock plates to enjoy walking up and across. It does become somewhat plant congested along the way, but fortunately most or of the non-sticky variety. Overall, these lower areas are easy.
Passing that 1.5 mile point, the canyon winds around and a very distinctive cliff feature comes into view high up ahead. It becomes clear that the upper portion of the canyon splits with the left hand branch leading up to this carved out waterfall cliff. Making your way up to that point involves numerous medium falls to scale, which can easily be avoided by some steep scrambling around to the right. Once the cliffs are reached, the drama is somewhat lost... it was really better down below. At this point you can either head back down the canyon, or follow the base of the cliffs around to the right along a faint elk trail leading up to the top of the cliffs, reconnecting to the drainage above. You may work your way on up to the ridge just below Hershberger Peak, about the 7200' level. From there you have an easy ridge walk to make the peak, or simply head on down the ridge to The Mesa... descending either Goat Springs Trail or Rockachucky Wash.
Instead of taking the left hand cut below the cliffs, you may also follow the right hand drainage on up to the ridge, avoiding some of the steeper portions of the scrambling. Moving at a moderate to slow pace, it takes 4-5 hours to reach the ridge from the trailhead... and 3-4 hours to hike on down and off the mountain.
This is a nice hike to have completed, and the canyon is different than the other drainages surrounding Hershberger, but it is not the nicest approach.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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