Mount Boardman North is a 3626 foot peak centrally located in the Northern section of the Diablo Range. It is also the county high point for San Joaquin County, California. Mount Boardman North’s name is derived from nearby Mount Boardman which stands ½ mile south of it. Mount Boardman’s summit is near the point of demarcation where the four counties of Alameda, Santa Clara, San Joaquin and Stanislaus intersect.
On the 1996 version of the USGS Mount Boardman Quadrangle, Mount Boardman North does not exist in name but is instead shown as a vertical angle benchmark (VABM) representing a 3626 foot summit. The name Mount Boardman North was unofficially given to it by county high pointer Gary Sutter, the author of the book California County Summits, when the peak was recognized as being 33 feet taller than Mount Boardman, and thus the actual highpoint for San Joaquin County. The name has stuck and now appears on peakbagger.com and a host of other sites across the web.
Mount Boardman North is one of five county highpoints (Discovery Peak, Laveaga Peak, Mt. Boardman North, Mount. Stakes and Table Mountain) in the Diablo Range, all isolated on private lands.
The closest highpoint to Mount Boardman North is Mount Stakes, some 12 miles south. High pointers familiar with Mount Stakes will recognize their similarities. Both are generally accessed from Mines Road and reached by following a northeasterly route over often-wide fire roads. Most notable are the similarities in terrain: a chamise, chapparal scrub environment punctuated with oak, digger pine & fragrant stands of juniper.
Although the trailhead to Mount Boardman North can be accessed by traveling north on San Antonio Road from Mount Hamilton, as well as by traveling west on Del Puerte Road off Interstate 5, travel from Livermore provides the quickest point of access. Go south on Mines Road from Livermore. You’ll pass the designated Alameda & Santa Clara border crossing at mile 20. Continue until you reach mile 26 and look for the driveway on the west side of the road to Camp Bessie which is shown on the Eylar Mtn. USGS Quadrangle. Look for a U.S.A flag hanging from a flag pole and a wooden fence post with a wrought iron figurine of a buck and the words “Camp Bessie” hanging from it. Continue another .3 miles and park on the east side of the road on a dirt pullout. Note on the opposite side of the road, an orange no-trespassing sign nailed to a tree. The South Pocket route beginning point is about 30 yards up the road.
South Pocket Route
The South Pocket route, mapped and described in Bob Burd’s trip report, includes 13 miles (14 if you add Mount Mocho) and approximately 2000 feet of net elevation gain. Study that posting as well as the USGS Mount Boardman Quadrangle and Google satellite imagery so you know the correct road junctions. This is not the shortest route to Mount Boardman from Mines Road, but it is recommended as it steers well clear of any private dwellings. This route is intuitive: just keep heading in a northeasterly direction. You will be on wide, well-graded fire roads the entire way. You will encounter two fence crossings with “no trespassing” signs posted before reaching the summit area of Mount Boardman. To reach Mount Boardman North, continue ½ mile further along a rising saddle. You’ll know you’ve reached Mt. Boardman North when you encounter geological/seismology equipment and a USGS benchmark within close proximity to one another.
San Joaquin foothills & Valley.
Looking east to Mount Oso.
Views to the Northeast include the lowland San Joaquin hills and further beyond the San Joaquin Valley itself. The two twin peaks of Mount Oso are seen more directly to the east, while to the west, the eastern flanks of Eylar Mountain rise just above 4000 feet. Southwestern views include Mount Copernicus and Mount Hamilton around 13 miles distant. During much of the descent from Mount Boardman one notes pleasant views of isolated Fenton, Deer Park, and Arkansas Canyons to the immediate south, while those with a keen eye may identify Mount Stakes, 12 miles distant to the south/southeast.
“Spanish explorers named the San Joaquin River after Saint Joachim, Biblical father of the Virgin Mary, and the county derived its name from the river. The San Joaquin flows through the heart of the county’s fertile flatland, bounded on the west by the Diablo Range and on the east by the Sierra foothills. The San Joaquin joins the Sacramento and Mokelumne rivers to create myriad waterways in the Delta, a magnet for houseboaters and anglers. A deep-water channel meanders from San Francisco Bay to Stockton, the county seat, creating a major “seaport” almost 80 miles from the ocean. Giant freighters ply the channel and carry California agricultural products worldwide. Major San Joaquin County crops include corn, tomatoes, asparagus, dry beans, sweet cherries, apricots, walnuts, table grapes, and wine grapes. Lodi, known for its Tokay vineyards, holds an annual nationally acclaimed Grape Festival and Wine Show” (From "California County Summits" by Gary Suttle).
Mount Boardman North stands on private property. You will need permission from the property owners to hike here legally.