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Southwest Ridge

Southwest Ridge

Southwest Ridge

Page Type: Route

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 35.73800°N / 117.996°W

Object Title: Southwest Ridge

Route Type: Scramble

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Class 2

Grade: III

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes


Page By: Bob Burd

Created/Edited: May 31, 2005 / Apr 2, 2015

Object ID: 165262

Hits: 2480 

Page Score: 0%  - 0 Votes 

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Indian Wells is undoubtedly the shortest and quickest way to climb Owens Peak. But it you're looking for a bit more of a challenge, and perhaps are interested in bagging a few other HPS peaks along the way (Morris and Jenkins), consider the approach via the PCT starting from Walker Pass.

One definite advantage is that no dirt roads need be negotiated. Drive to Walker Pass on SR178 and park on the left or right side of the pass near the CA historical marker for Walker Pass. The PCT heading north is actually a short distance east of the pass. At the very pass there are numerous use trails zigzagging to nowhere in particular on the north side of the road. These are most likely reinforced regularly by disoriented PCTers struggling to find their way once they cross the road. Look to the east for a trailhead sign.

Follow the PCT past Morris Peak and the east side of Mt. Jenkins for about 8 miles to a saddle between the north end Mt. Jenkins (Pt. 7,802ft) and Mt. Owens. Indian Wells is off to the east. There may be a faint use trail leaving this obvious saddle, or it may be obliterated.

Route Description

The route follows the obvious ridgeline from the saddle SW of Owens Peak. An obvious use trail leads up the first part from the saddle with ducks all the way to the summit in case the route isn't obvious. It is an interesting scramble with perhaps too many ducks for a Sierra peak. If you have climbed other HPS peaks you will understand the culture of excessive ducking and it may not bother you. Feel free to knock over any you think are worthless - they are generally frowned on in Wilderness areas, and aren't really needed anyway.

About 300ft from the summit the ducks will lead across a boulder/scree slope on the southeast side where it joins up with the Indian Wells use trail a short distance below the summit.

Essential Gear

Sturdy shoes.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.


The SW Ridge of Owen\'s Peak...Typical scrambling along the...Matthew at the start of the...