Hiked up the night before to the nice camping spots just before the chute. Next morning, ascended the chute (making poor decisions resulting in ill-advised climbs), then descended the chute the correct way. Broke camp, then headed over to S Sister, then down to Bristlecone and back to my car at the resort. I'd like to try the Northern approach to McFarland next. GPS tracks
I hiked this one with SPer MoapaPk (his 10th+ time and second time in a week) and Paula. We took the north ridge route down on the way back, nabbing North McFarland on our way down.
Hiked from the Upper Bristlecone Trail. Very strenuous as I was out of shape after a month of very little activity, wasted about 20 minutes (and valuable energy) on the summit plateau trying to find the correct descent gully.
Drove up the Paved road past the prison 9.5 miles as directed.The dirt road I took there is marked "570". Drove the dirt road the 5.2 miles and parked. Hiked down the road and across the burn out area entering the forest. kept the outcrop in view and stayed to the left as described. Got up on the ridge and proceeded to the summit.
There were several areas where we lost elevation and climbed back up to stay on the ridge.
The first time up was from the Bonanza Trail route. About 10,200' or so a thunderstorm rolled in and was showering lightning in my vicinity, so I bailed and went back. This time I went with a small LVMC group up the North Ridgeline. Great class 3 climbing on good limestone, and then down the drainage. I took Lorraine up there a week later by the drainage.
and July 11, 2009. This is a tough one for me as a solo hiker (with dog) because the chute is at the edge of what I'm comfortable handling alone. First time was with Rusty and Abby and was the time that Rusty first showed his age and gave out on the return (we had to be rescued off the Bristlecone when he could not walk any more). I disagree with other posters regarding the Bonanza approach. It may be long but it is outstandingly beautiful and remote. I very rarely see anyone else on it. But it is important to note that, contrary to most Spring Mountain hikes, this one will require a fair amount of climbing on the return trip...it is not all downhill after the summit. Also, I'd like to note that I was grateful for the description to pay attention to where the chute meets the ridge; when returning, it is not easy to identify the chute top unless you have made a note of it (in my case, it was the "brick wall" look of the formation at the head of the chute).
Great spot to get out of the August heat. The trail is very runnable up to the chute. The chute is not so runnable, though the steepness definitely kept my heart rate up. Great views from the top. My RT from the lower Bristlecone trail parking was 5 hrs which included all of my breaks.
Shin led us up a defunct trail that met up again with the Bonanza Trail. A wash or two is easy to find to get to the ridge. Gusts got really strong up there too, so watch the weather.
Long approach, especially if driving from SoCal.
I believe this was the first Charleston route I found. I remember Lee Schultz was trying to find a route, but couldn't find one. Not real fond of the long approach. Not real fond of the long drive if doing the northern route.
I did an out and back from the Bonanza Trail starting in Lee Canyon. Got on the trail at 11:30am and the heavens opened up with a downpour but thankfully it stopped by the time I reached the Bonanza Trail turnoff. Got up the mountain and back to my car at 6:30pm so seven hours round trip. Wish I would have slowed it up a bit but I wanted to beat the sunset.
On the way up, we went off-trail at the pass on the Bonanza trail just before hitting the base of the peak. We went Northwest through a pass and then down to the main chute. From there it was steep and tough, but very rewarding. On the way back, we decided to take the main chute all the way to the Bonanza trail. Boy were we surprised to see about 400 feet higher than it is portrayed on the map! Evidently the trail was rebuilt. With this knowledge, the best way is definitely to take the trail to/from the main chute.
It was little cold and snowing at the peak. It was 41F at there.
Climbed with another 2 hikers and took 3hours 20minutes up, 6hours 50minutes total.
McFarland Peak from Lee Canyon
Again, from Blistlecone-Bonanza Trail. This time, I climed up Bonanza Peak first then climed up McFarland Peak. 21.5 mile and 6,300 ft total elevation gain. Took about 11 hours.
Bonanza & McFarland Peak from Lee Canyon
CLIMBED W/ED and MIKE FROM N CYN
1st time was an interesting loop from Cold Creek, over Bonanza, and then sraight E on ridge to McFarland, then down north gully, and back to CC, following Nick N.
Most fun: in late May 2005, the Siberian, the Canadian and I cramponed up the N slides from 8000' to the top. Standing glissades for 2000' vert on descent -- while wearing shorts, of course! What a wonderful snow year. I repeated the snow climb with Li'l Kim in 2009.
Here are my slideshows from the routes I have done:
McFarland Peak via North Canyon in 2005 and McFarland Peak via North Canyon in 2007
McFarland Peak via Bristlecone Pine Trail, Bonanza Trail and the Gully
McFarland Peak from Cold Creek over Bonanza Peak
I enjoy North Canyon route more because it is much steeper and I like to go say "hi" to the wild horses. Bristlecone/Bonanza trail is a bit of a bore unless apsens are in color. The ridge traverse one from Bonanza Peak was a lot of fun once off the trail.
Fresh snow the day before--the gully had quite a bit of snow when I went by in the morning, so I went to Bonanza first to give it a chance to melt off before heading to McFarland in the afternoon. McFarland was by far the better of the two peaks.
Long tough hike. Went with the LVMC. Did it round trip in just under 8 hours.
A very tough, challenging climb, about eight hours round trip. A great time with great partners!
This was a tough but enjoyable hike. After flying in from R.I., i drove to the trailhead and started hiking around 1pm. Lots of snow, windy and colder than I thought, I made it back around 8pm with my headlamp. My water bottles had long since frozen solid. I was the first signing the register since the past fall