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Mastadon Peak - 2 members in 5 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Dec 15 2017
John9L
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,134
 Triplogs 1,635

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Joshua Tree National Park TrailsInland, CA
Inland, CA
Hiking avatar Dec 15 2017
John9L
Hiking18.50 Miles 3,500 AEG
Hiking18.50 Miles
3,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Headed up to Joshua Tree with a friend for a fun weekend exploring. We car camped two nights in the Cottonwood Campground and did a variety of hikes over the weekend and then I headed back to Phoenix Sunday afternoon.


Mastodon Peak Loop – Made a quick loop on Friday afternoon during sunset. There are remains of an old mine and a use trail that wraps around to the top of Mastodon Peak. Nice views up there!

Ryan Mountain – Started off with Ryan on Saturday morning. The trail is in great condition and makes a healthy climb over the course of 1.5 miles. The summit is marked by a massive rock cairn. The views would have been nice if not for the extremely poor air quality.

Barker Dam Loop – After Ryan, we headed over to the Barker Dam area and spent some time exploring the area and searching for glyphs. We had mixed results by finding some and not others. There is one set of glyphs, marked on the topo map, that have been touched up with paint. There was a light rain for about an hour.

Hidden Valley – Made the quick Hidden Valley loop in the afternoon. This is a really nice area that is very popular with rock climbers and day hikers. Very scenic and nice hiking.

Key Views – We ended our Saturday at Key Views where we hiked a short way up a use trail to the west and enjoyed the sunset. It’s a wonderful view of Palm Springs and San Jacinto but the air quality is disgusting! From there we returned to Cottonwood and settled in for the evening.

Split Rock Loop / Skull Rock – On Sunday morning we drove back into the heart of the park and did a short loop hike by Split Rock / Skull Rock. Fairly nice area.

Arch Rock – Short hike and exploration by Arch Rock

Cholla Garden – We ended on the Cholla Garden Nature Walk.
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1 archive
Oct 31 2017
AZWanderingBear
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 61
 Photos 2,620
 Triplogs 700

65 male
 Joined Jan 23 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Joshua Tree NP, CA 
Joshua Tree NP, CA
 
Hiking avatar Oct 31 2017
AZWanderingBear
Hiking33.50 Miles 4,550 AEG
Hiking33.50 Miles
4,550 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Headed out to Joshua Tree for 4 days of camping and hiking. We didn't get a real early start, so we were very lucky to find an available spot in Ryan Campground, our second choice. Not a fan of campgrounds, but they can be a necessary evil. Ryan is centrally located and our little spot backed up to some nice granite. Apparently half our neighbors were there to mostly be loud. Of the other half, we were pleasantly surprised to meet a young couple from Switzerland who are doing a few years exploring North America in their iconic 2002 Land Rover Defender. I love Land Rover's unofficial motto - "making mechanics out of drivers since 1948."

We tackled Ryan Mountain first to get a nice view of the area. Drove part of Geology Road which isn't all that interesting when you don't have the accompanying guide for what's significant at each of the sign posts. The guides are not available at the large metal box at the start of the road marked "Guides", only at the visitor centers miles and miles away. Did have fun exploring Squaw Tank, a small dam with some good rocks to scramble on nearby. Desert Queen Mine, Wall Street Stamp Mill and the Barker Dam provided a look back into the history of the area. Stopped by Skull Rock for a belated Halloween celebration and some more rock scrambling fun.

Ryan Ranch was very close to our campground so we strolled out to explore our second morning. Interesting place. Willow Hole is hike not listed on HAZ. We saw it on a park brochure and thought the name was worth exploring. It is a 7 plus mile round trip through sand to several willow trees in some damp earth. Took the opportunity to drive north and hike to 49 Palms. Yes, we counted them and there were 3 palms too many. MJ corrected the error and they are back to 49. Coyote Corner offers gifts, souvenirs, and 7.5 minute showers for only $4 per token. Highly recommended!

Keys View is a nice drive and a small walk. Gives a great view of the San Andreas Fault below, which of course isn't mentioned on the informational signs at the view point. We took a side dirt road on a whim and found a trailhead for Lost Horse Mine. We opted for the entire loop. The mine had a 10 stamp mill and operated for a long time. Water was pumped the 3.5 miles from Ryan Ranch to support the mine and mill. The southern half of the loop offers nice views and some other mine ruins. White bursage was blooming and when you brush against it or crush some in your hands it smelled like lemons. We explored around the Hidden Valley area and watched some friendly climbers at work for a bit.

The drive out took us past Cottonwood Campground and the Mastadon Peak and Mine Loop. The scramble to the top of Mastadon was short but fun with a chuckwalla lamenting our intrusion into his morning sunning routine.

We stopped off at the General Patton and Desert Training Center Museum at Chiricao Summit. The US Army trained in southern CA and southwestern AZ before embarking to North Africa to confront Hitler and Rommel in the Sahara, our entry into WW-II. The training was vital in learning to cope with desert conditions. The outline of the road network from the many camp towns established as part of the Desert Training Center are still visible when you fly over the area. The museum has an impressive collection of artifacts from the period.
Fauna
Fauna
Chuckwalla
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All you have is your fire...
And the place you need to reach
1 archive
May 04 2012
rwstorm
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 125
 Photos 20,380
 Triplogs 925

73 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Mastadon PeakInland, CA
Inland, CA
Hiking avatar May 04 2012
rwstorm
Hiking2.60 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking2.60 Miles
400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
On my fourth and final day at Joshua Tree NP, I had a change of plans and decided to go home by way of Salton Sea and Yuma instead of by way of Parker. After breaking camp at Belle, I headed toward Cottonwood and decided to do this hike. I parked in Loop A of the campground and did it as an out and back versus loop. Explored a little around the old millsite at Winona and over by the Mastodon Mine on the way to the peak. This was a very pleasant easy hike, much of it in a wash, with a short scramble to the peak. Joshua Tree is a wonderful park! :)
Named place
Named place
Mastodon Mine Mastodon Peak
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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1 archive
Mar 17 2010
rally_toad
avatar

 Guides 22
 Routes 4
 Photos 512
 Triplogs 444

30 male
 Joined May 17 2007
 CA
Joshua Tree National Park, CA 
Joshua Tree National Park, CA
 
Hiking avatar Mar 17 2010
rally_toad
Hiking32.85 Miles 3,000 AEG
Hiking32.85 Miles
3,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Spent about 3 days in Joshua Tree National Park. Great trip! Found a bighorn sheep skull, chuckwallas, and a California Treefrog (lifer for me). Car camping with dayhikes. Hikes included,
Lost Palms Oasis
Stubbe Springs Loop
Ryan Mountain Summit
with others.
I absolutely am in love with this park.
_____________________
"Who are you guys??!!" -Farnsworth
Dec 30 2008
rally_toad
avatar

 Guides 22
 Routes 4
 Photos 512
 Triplogs 444

30 male
 Joined May 17 2007
 CA
Mastadon PeakInland, CA
Inland, CA
Hiking avatar Dec 30 2008
rally_toad
Hiking5.00 Miles
Hiking5.00 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A quick hike in Joshua Tree National Park. We spent most of our free time 4x4ing and exploring old mines both inside and outside the park. But somehow I still found time to take the easy Mastadon Peak Trail up and summit Mastadon Peak twice with the little downtime we did have. As always saw part of Joshua Tree I had never seen before, and as always was a great trip. The first time I did it was great, just before sunset and no one else on the trail, the second time the trail was crowded with families and people, some of which were very annoying.

Still considering a 3-4 day backpack in Joshua Tree over spring break(either on the CA Riding and hiking trail, or connecting some of the long trails that follow washes), the only problem would be water, there's only 4-5 places to get water in the park unless we stashed some earlier.
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"Who are you guys??!!" -Farnsworth

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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