From the South

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 37.08860°N / 118.495°W
Additional Information Route Type: Scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 2
Sign the Climber's Log


The route is about 11 miles long roudtrip and involves around 5300 feet of altitude gain.

Start at the Big Pine Trailhead from the hikers parking lot (7,677ft). This is the hikers parking lot that is at the end of the road (there is another lot called the hikers parking lot that is half a mile back down the road toward Big Pine).

Follow the trail along the north side of the stream. If it is light out when you start you will see some cabins on the right. The tail will cross the stream over a bridge and then feed out onto a wide plain. The trail will cross the stream again over a split log bridge and continue for a mile or so across the plain and toward a steep cliff where it will switchback up the cliff. The trail will then bend west and descend a little toward Willow Lake.

At this point you are going to have to leave the trail and descend into the wooded area toward the that drains Elinore Lake. There is an intermittent use trail here that I had a hell of a hard time following. I got lost in this area for two hours on my way back down. Once you work your way northwest and find the stream you will want to stay on the south side of it and work your way up to the second major stream that feeds into it and hang a left (south). This is the stream that drains Elinor Lake. I stayed on the left side (east) of the stream, sticking close to the small cliffs and that worked out fine. Go around Elinore Lake one the east side.

Route Description

From the south end of Elinore Lake it is time to start heading up the talus that forms the basin for the lake and then head up talus and slab toward Scimitar Pass. There is a clear ridge coming down from the ridgeline between Palisade Crest and Jepson that you will want to head toward. From Lake Elinore you can see a wide notch in it. You will want to head toward this notch and then cross through it to get on the left side (east) side of this ridge to continue the ascent to Mount Jepson. One you cross through the notch you will want to stick kinda of close to the ridge and drop down and further east when necessary to keep the climbing easy. There is a spot about a third of the way between the notch and the summit ridge where this is some very loose rock and scree. If you are in a group I would spread out here to avoid killing each other. On my descent I avoided this spot my moving further east on talus to avoid the scree mixied with big rocks. Still, all of the rocks had those chalky marks from being pounded from falling rocks. Continue south and up to the ridge. Once you gain the ridge, Jepson will be to your right (west) and Palisade Crest will be to your left (west). Drop down off of Scimitar Pass to the bowly thing between it and Mt Jepson. From Scimitar Pass (13,451) I could see three peaks along the ridge of Jepson and the third one looked the tallest and I figure it was the peak. There is a fourth one that is not visible that is a little to the left (south) that will come into view as you gain altitude going up the third one.

Essential Gear

A comfortable pair of shoes.

Miscellaneous Info

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



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