Mascot Canyon

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 32.22300°N / 109.611°W
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Sign the Climber's Log

Route Description

From the locked gate at about 6,100', start climbing up the road as it winds its way up Mascot Canyon. There are a few forks here and there, but stay on the main road. As you climb higher, you will get a good view of the Dos Cabezas Peaks. You will also see a prominent radio tower south of the peaks. Continue up the road to a saddle at 7,200' between the Dos Cabezas Peaks and Cooper Peak. The main road continues straight ahead to two other radio tower facilities to the east, but you will want to take a left and climb up a short side road to the saddle.

From the saddle, you will see a tall radio tower with a single antenna at 7,880' above you. You must climb up to this tower. Do not confuse this tower with the other radio tower facilities to the east. You can either head straight for the tower by going up and over a small hill, or take a road that goes around the hill. Either way, climb up the steep slope to the tower. The tower is located at the south end of the South Ridge. The Dos Cabezas Peaks are looming above you directly ahead.

Start hiking north across the South Ridge towards the South Peak. You will first cross a grassy area, then a few brushy bumps along the ridge. As you approach the South Peak, the brush gets thicker. The South Peak looks intimidating from here, and there doesn't appear to be any feasible way up, but there is. You will see a large vertical crack on the left side of the peak. Just down and to the right of it is a sloping ramp that you will use to start your ascent. You can't see it from here because it's hidden by a rock outcropping partially covered with green lichen. Your goal is to climb up to the base of the rock, then climb up and to the left along the base of the rock until you come to the ramp.

Climb up to the base of the South Peak at about 8,200'. The brush is extremely thick here, and it's tough going. However, you may be able to find a faint path through the brush that will make it easier. Even if you find the faint route, the going is still tough, but it's a lot easier than pushing through the brush without one. Climb up to the ramp, which slopes up and to the right. Climb up the ramp, then start scrambling along the ledges. It's pretty easy to figure out where to go. The route is a little exposed in some places, but it's not much. You will go around a blind corner, then turn left and head up a gully. You will come to a chockstone. Go under it, then climb above it. This is probably the "crux" move on the South Peak, but it's still pretty easy. Scramble up the remaining rocky cliffs to the summit, where you can enjoy the views.

If you want to climb the North Peak, there is a steep descent route off the north face of the South Peak that will allow you to get to the saddle between the North and South Peaks. From the saddle, ascending the North Peak is fairly easy. Once you do that, you can descend below the saddle to a road that will take you back to the 7,200' saddle.

Hiking Distance: About 7 miles round trip.
Elevation Gain: About 2,700'.



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