I drove from Cottonwood Peak down to the Castle Crags area and took road 25 over the mountains to highway 3. I thought this would be faster than taking highway 3. I thought wrong, but I did get over the mountain and drove down to the Trinity River Campground. The road up to the Bonanza King lookout is good, but it is crooked. The weather was beautifully clear so the increasingly nice views helped pass the time driving.
The fire lookout was manned by a nice lady and she was very helpful in pointing out landmarks and she also commented that others had made the hike out to the Bonanza King highpoint. I drove back down from the lookout to the saddle below and started my hike.
It was easy going up the first hill and then I made my way through a little wooded area before getting on the rocky ridge heading out to the highpoint. There is a climber’s trail that I followed most of the way, but it is tedious and slow going. It was a fun scramble on a beautiful day. It was a little windy, but it didn’t diminish from this fun hike. The actual highpoint was beyond the big rounded point 7,036 on the ridge. There is a large cairn and a summit register on the highest point.
After visiting the highpoint, I decided to bypass the tedious route along the ridge and I dropped down to the small valley on the west side of the ridge. This was a lot faster than the ridgeline in spite of having to climb about 300ft back up to point 6,032 and I was soon back at my truck.
The total hike was only 1.36 miles, gained about 1,000 ft with all the ups and downs, and took nearly 2 hours.