Little Squaretop (UN 8919') is one of the highest peaks of Organ Mountains located to the north of Organ Needle. It has two summits, Little Squaretop (W) and Little Squaretop Massif (E), separated by gully running north-to-south. When viewed from the west, only Little Squaretop is visible, a spiky point to the left of Organ Needle. In turn, only the Massif is seen when looking from the east.
The summits of Little Squaretop and the Massif provide solitude with astonishing views of Organ Mountains, the majestic Sierra Blanca and surrounding desert peaks.
There are a number of routes leading to the summits of Little Squaretop, both Class 3-4 scrambles and technical climbs, described in the "Climbing Guide to Organ Mountains"
by R. L. Ingraham and on the Mountain Project
|View from the west |
|View from the trail |
|View from the south |
|View on the approach from SW
|Little Squaretop: summit block |
|Summit view south |
|Summit view north |
|Summit view east
The easiest way to approach Little Squaretop is from the west using the standard Organ Needle Trail
starting from Modoc Mine Road (a detailed route description by Gerry Roach can be found here
). The standard (Normal) route ascending the north-to-south gully from Little Squaretop-Organ Needle saddle is a mix of bushwhacking, route finding and exposed Class 3-4 scrambling. The route is relatively steep involving about 4,000 feet of elevation gain in ~3.5 miles. The climb to the top takes ~4-6 hours, so most people will need a good portion of the day to make a round trip. Bring sturdy shoes and clothing appropriate for bushwhacking through high desert vegetation.
When to climb
Late spring and fall are considered the best times to climb in the Organs. Temperatures can get uncomfortably high during summer months. During winter, snow can collect in the hidden gullies and on the northern aspects and persist there until spring.