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Table Top (Table Mountain)
Mountain/Rock

Table Top (Table Mountain)

 
Table Top (Table Mountain)

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 35.06360°N / 115.2205°W

Object Title: Table Top (Table Mountain)

County: San Bernardino

Activities: Hiking, Bouldering, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 6176 ft / 1882 m

 

Page By: tarol

Created/Edited: Nov 17, 2008 / Nov 19, 2008

Object ID: 464008

Hits: 4754 

Page Score: 87.76%  - 25 Votes 

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Overview

Tabletop is a large prominent mesa in the central part of Mojave National Preserve and from the top you can see most of the major mountains and other features of the 1.6 million acre preserve including: the highest peak in the preserve, Clark Mountain, the rugged New York Mountains, Edgar Peak and the others in the Providence Mountains, and Cima Dome and Teutonia Peak.

You can see Tabletop itself from Hole-in-the-Wall and anywhere along the Black Canyon Road as you drive north to the Cedar Canyon Road as it is a well-defined landmark rising above the other nearby hills and buttes. The formation has a 1-billion old granite base and is capped by a 20 million old lava flow. Much of this area burned in a fire in 2005 but you will still find some live brush and trees including some that have stood the test of time on top of the flat-topped mountain. Watch for lizards, jack rabbits, and raptors which catch and ride thermals around Tabletop.

Getting There

 
Along the ridge to Table Top
 


From I-40 between Fenner and Ludlow take the Essex Exit and drive north about 10 miles to the Black Canyon Road. Turn right and drive north on this road to Hole-in-the-Wall. Continue north on the now unpaved but good gravel road about 5.3 miles from Hole-in-the-Wall (or 1.7 miles south of the turn-off for Mid-Hills Campground). Here just north of a cattle-guard on the east side of the road is a large turn-around parking/camping area surrounded by low hills. (please note that the mileage to this parking area in some books is off by 2 miles). Park here then hike the dirt road northeast over the first hill and head towards the windmill.

From the windmill there are two main routes you can take to Tabletop and both are about 3 miles one way, 6 miles round trip, with about 1,100 feet of elevation gain then loss. Do both and you can do a loop. You can either hike up and over the rocky ridgeline east to Tabletop. This route involves some route-finding, bouldering, and barb-wire fence negotiating in places. Also probably about 300' more elevation gain/loss. Or you can stay south of the rocky ridgeline on the sandy flats and follow one of many cow trails east for a couple of miles and then climb northeast up one of many draws to get to the base of Tabletop.

There is a break in Tabletop's 60 foot tall lava cap on its southwest portion so you can get on top without having to climb. But the rock here is very loose and the going very steep so go slow and I recommend bringing trekking poles to aid in balance.

Red Tape and other considerations

 
What a view!
 


Doing this hike would be most pleasant during the cooler months of the year - Nov-April. It can be windy on top so bring a windbreaker. There is no water available so bring all that you'll need on your hike. Also remember to fill up on gas before you drive into the preserve - there are no gas stations or stores here.

There is no entrance fee and no permits are needed for camping or hiking.

Backpackers traveling on foot must camp at least 0.5 mile from any developed area or road and 200 yards from water sources.

Backcountry camping is limited to a 14-day stay.

Roadside car camping is permitted in areas that have been traditionally used for this purpose. Camping tramples vegetation; by picking sites that have already been used for camping, you help protect desert plants from further damage.

Not all sites can accomodate multiple vehicles; please don't enlarge sites.

Do not camp along paved roads or in day-use areas, and stay at least 200 yards from springs and other water sources.

Driving off of designated roads is illegal.

Camping

 
On the top of Tabletop
 


Hole-in-the-Wall Campground


Surrounded by sculptured volcanic rock walls, Hole-in-the-Wall Campground is at 4,400 feet elevation. It's a good base for hiking and exploring nearby Mitchell Caverns.

Facilities: vault toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, trashcans, drinkable water, dump station. No utility hookups. 35 campsites are large enough for motorhomes and trailers. Two walk-in tent sites are also available.
Fees: $12 per site per night, $6 for Golden Age/Access Passport holders.
Reservations: not accepted. Campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Campground rarely fills.

Mid Hills Campground


A fire swept through here in June, 2005, burning over much of the area. Unburned campsites are surrounded by pinyon pine and juniper trees. At 5,600 feet in elevation, Mid Hills Campground is much cooler than the desert floor below. The road to the campground is not paved and is not recommended for motor-homes or trailers.

Facilities: picnic tables, fire rings, vault toilets, trashcans, and drinkable water. 26 campsites.
Fees: $12 per site per night, $6 for Golden Age/Access Passport holders.
Reservations: not accepted. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Campground rarely fills.

Black Canyon Equestrian & Group Campground


Located across the road from Hole-in-the-Wall Information Center.

Facilities: vault toilets, water, a picnic shelter with tables, fire ring, grill, corrals.
Fees: $25 per night for the group.
Reservations: call 760 928-2572.

You can also disperse camp and camp in backcountry areas


...see red tape section above

External Links

 
At the base of Table Top
 


Mojave National Preserve Website

Mojave National Preserve Weather Forecast

Mojave National Preserve Natural Features, Plants, Animals, etc.

Mojave National Preserve Geology



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