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Warren Peak, CA
mini location map2023-04-12
29 by photographer avatartibber
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Warren Peak, CA 
Warren Peak, CA
Hiking3.75 Miles 1,137 AEG
Hiking3.75 Miles   3 Hrs      1.67 mph
1,137 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
1st trip
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After a long but fairly easy and very scenic drive from Cottonwood Springs Campground, especially when we hit some new territory, we passed through the Ranger Station and made our way via Joshua Tree/Yucca Valley to the trailhead at Black Rock Canyon Campground.  I had downloaded the route which essentially starts from the VC there.  You pass through the campground southbound to the southside of site 30 where the trail begins. 

We had an overcast sky which we would have for most of the day except for about an hour.  In front of you is a large water tank where you head left (east) and then on to a single track.  You continue through a somewhat botanical area with quite a few Joshua Trees. We got to check out the lemon yellow flower daisies (Scalebuds) we've been admiring since we got to Joshua Tree.

Next is a wash that you turn right (south) on but its sand is not too deep.  There were quite a few people coming back already.  There are plenty of Joshua Trees scattered about.  You pass by the spring area.  At the first junction with the Panorama Loop, you turn right (south).  It was fun as the canyon narrowed from time to time and we got to see the oldest rocks of JTNP, Pinto Gneiss.  There were some pretty cool formations here and there :) .  As you get closer to the Peak area, the area widens out again.  There were a lot of tall and narrow Fiddleneck.  There was some more flora and cactus that would get our attention including what I think is Bajada Lupine (stunted), some more Scale Bud (lemon yellow flower), Phlox?, Beavertail cactus, Silver Cholla and even some Pinyon Pines and Junipers.

It is the most interesting gentle grade as we hiked south and up; you hardly realize the elevation gain.  We got to the fork of which we thought one way was to Peak 5195 (wrong) and to the right (west) is Warner Peak.  The trail ascends the ridgeline east of the peak and you scramble up a few rocks to reach the summit. It seemed like it was going to be a slippery descent too.  Kelly almost leaped up to the summit so I was able to get some pictures of her as I finished my ascent which was quite scenic. 

Warren Peak offers a great view of the Mojave Desert to the north and the Coachella Valley to the south. Also to the south is Mount San Jacinto, the peak that rises above Palm Springs. To the west is Mount San Gorgonio which was still fully snow-capped, a beauty to behold :D .  I took some panos while up there and even did a post on FB.  We enjoyed the peak and also did some internet work before coming off the mountain (most of the Park doesn't have internet/wifi).

The trek down was not as slippery as we feared it might be as it was more sand than loose crumbly granite.   As we got nearer the bottom others were coming up and the sun was trying to come out.   Coming and going I took some pictures of the Poppies, giant Chia (double headed in some cases), Scale Bud, a beautiful Silver Cholla, a fat but nicely shaped Beavertail and some more of what I think is Bajada Lupine.  There is this one Joshua Tree before the ascent that had a low blooming bud and a low blooming blossom to get close with for touching and photos.  It really was quite the specimen as it was like a full tree. Back at the junction, Kelly opted to check out what she thot was Peak 5195.  It is actually a trail to what is called Warren's View.  I opted to hang back.

After what I thot was too long of a wait :scared: , I decided I would go up the Warren View Trail to see if she was in sight.  I got to see a Scott's Oriole ahead on a Joshua Tree.  I decided after a while without seeing her that I should go back and get my pack that I had left behind.  Lo and behold, she starts coming down the hill at the junction.  She had gone on a little adventure and she managed to make a little loop out of it. We headed down the trail for a little bit before linking up the southside (right hand turn from Warren Peak Trail) of the Panorama Trail.

Enjoy the hike with us:   [ youtube video ] (FYI - feel free to offer up comments on my new video program (you can PM me if you like). I think it's much better but am open to suggestions).

Warren/Panorama Loop total stats:
HAZel 5 hrs. 63 min breaks (2.06MPH), 8.17 miles, 1803 AEG (1145 gain)
WATCH 5 hrs., 8.08 miles, 4102-5338 elevation. 124 avg bpm/163 max burning 1829 calories. Starting temp 62.5 cloudy and 26% humidity
 Geology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Gneiss
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  San Jacinto Mountains
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
HAZ Member
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