This was part of a 21 day hiking road-trip I did with Heather. We followed a very nice and well defined trail up to the summit plateau. I was tempted to climb the southern point as well but decided it was class 4 and not worth the effort. Other peaks we did on this trip include:
Pinos, Sawmill, Aliso, Signal, Castle Dome, Ajo, Miller, Superstition BM, Turtle HP, Old Woman, Cinder Cone 3894', Avawatz, Pahrump, Pinto, Nelson HP, Panamint Butte, Canyon Point, Shadow, Grapevine, Wahguye, Palmer, Stirling, Northshore, Black Mesa, Hamblin, and Little Virgin.
We also visited Heiroglyphic Canyon, Marble Canyon, Cottonwood Canyon, Sheep Spring Canyon, Cadiz Dunes, Mojave Lava Tube, Parowan Gap Dinosaur tracks and numerous pertroglyph sites.
See the trip report with photos for more information.
Used MoapaPk's impeccable beta. Highlight was the crux pinnacle: fun! Also avoided catclaw wash as much as possible.
I drove to the Willow Springs area and gained the ridge leading north to the summit area. The wash quickly became chocked with cat's claw and boulders, but there is a saddle on the south end of the ridge that can be found. The ridge itself is very bouldery, but mostly free of cat's claw. The pinnacles are not easily avoided, the hardest of which is found a bit over 5900', and must be climbed up and over via a class 2/3 slab, and down climbed via a steep chute on the left. The peak is still about a mile away yet, with a prominent pinnacle coming into view. This last pinnacle can be bypassed on its right and finally the summit is an easy walk from here. This pinnacle is worth climbing in its own right, and the easiest route is a 3+/easy class 4 chute from the north side, and there is a register on the top.
Overcast day with a few sprinkles. No snow anywhere to be found though. As desert peaks go, I found this one to be pretty boring. Climbed Old Dad Mountain in the afternoon which was a much better peak.
Followed the road up toward Silver peak then up to saddle between Silver and Granite. From there up the ridge and east side to summit. Came down the East side straight down to Cottonwood which was brushier and steeper than the ascent route.
The day was warm and still and we had great views all around
Lorraine and went up the DPS route, more or less. The higher we got the more snow there was on the ground, until around 6000' it was pervasive. We came at the summit from the north, and it was 5 or 6 inches deep over the boulder field we had to climb to reach the summit. Going down was easier. (Since my XTerra was in the shop, I took the Prius and had to park about a half mile from the highway, so the hike came in at 12.1 miles). Loved the granite formations near the top, they're reminiscent of Joshua Tree.
Hiked these two peaks with Dick Wimmer, his daughter-in-law Amy, Howard Vandermeer, Ted Lendis, and Steven Stembridge. We hiked Silver Peak first, then traversed the ridge over to Granite (interesting traverse with up to 5 inches of snow in places). After topping out on Granite we hiked down to the Plateau Chateau (research center cabin) and then down to Granite Cove where the Desert Research Center is and Dick's son (who is on staff there) gave us a ride back to Cottonwood Wash. We had a beautiful, crisp, clear sunny day with very little wind.
Penelope and I hiked the Granite Peak #1 (on DPS list) with Dave and Elaine Baldwin and several DPS folks in January 2003. We remember the dunes that we hiked afterwards, not much about the mountain, but any day spent in the desert is a good one.
Though the route is fairly brushy, the going is never desperate. The air was crisp and clear allowing for 100+ mile views. San Jacinto, which is 90-100 miles to the southwest, stands tall on the horizon, as does San Gorgonio. Overall, a very enjoyable day in the desert.
I had kept seeing these mountains from the 40 and thought they would have lots of good bouldering and climbing, True, there is tons of granite, but the rock quality was poor in the places that we climbing. A bit disappointing because we thought this place was going to be like J Tree. The bouldering was better by Teutonia Peak.
Next time I'm camping in the Mojave, I'll consider scrambling up the southern ridge to the true highpoint of the range. Silver peak has expansive views to the north and a road to follow near the top. Patches of snow turned to a consistent 6 inches up on the ridge on the shaded north facing slopes.
I took the N Ridge up -- pretty brush-free, but I made some bad choices on the huge boulders. I took the DPS suggested route down, and found I was constantly looking for ways to get around catclaws and other nasty plants, often climbing back out of the wash for a period.
For the initial (flattish) approach, I took a wash instead of the rough deteriorated road. However, I took the road back. The road now has a bright orange "NO TRESPASSING" sign stating this is a California ecological study area.
I was actually surprised how tough the hike was. I took ~2 hrs to get up, then went to the "other" peak, and took almost 2 hours to get down. However, time certainly doesn't tell the whole story; the hike did not seem to go quickly, especially the constant catclaw-avoidance on the way down. I never felt like I was wasting time (though my bad routes on the boulders may have cost me).
Not sure I hit any of the named summits, but I camped and hiked up through Cottonwood Wash... this is beautiful country!
took the ridge directly, rather than the wash, to the summit. much less bushwhacking. spectacular views.
Matthew and I climbed this in the morning, Old Dad in the afternoon. Old Dad was easily the better of the two scrambles. Trip Report
Camped at the trailhead the night before, 2" of snow on the ground, about 15F, clear and dry, about the best stars I have ever seen. Watch out for the feral donkeys. Fun hike, not too challenging, mostly "troad" with a bit of a bushwhack at the summit. Good view to the north, encompasing Kelso Dunes, Cima Dome, Devil's Playground, and Kelso Mountains.
These are classic Mojave Desert mountains.