Adam Walker invited me and my Jeep to do this one. It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes to get from the town of Scenic to the Cougar Spring Trailhead. It took about the same amount of time to hike the trail to the top. Older trip reports indicate that this hike used to have some annoying bushwacking near the top; however, that wasn't the case when we dd it. I could see many instances where the manzanita had been trimmed/cut along the trail. The forecast had called for clear weather; however, as we were nearing the summit, a dark cloud formed above and to the south of us and before we could open the glass jar and sign the summit log, it started to hail. We found some rock alcoves that provided some protection from the hail and after it lightened up 45 minutes later, we headed down. Scrambling down the top 200 feet was sketchy with the wet boulders, but once we hit the trail, we made good time and got back to the trailhead in less than an hour. Remembering how slick the last section of road was on the way in, coming down from the 6,450-ft pass at the top of Elbow Canyon (due to rain from the previous day), we decided to take BLM roads 1009 and 1004 to St.George on the way out. Those were quite muddy and slick, but the steeper pections had enough rock/gravel mixed in with the mud to provide enough traction in 4-wheel drive. Driving out to St. George took a lot more time than driving in from Mesquite due to the (timing of) weather and it's impact on the different road conditions.
Hiked with Richard Hensley. He drove us in his Jeep up Limekiln Canyon to Cougar Springs TH. It took us 2h to drive to the trailhead so it didn't save much time as we thought it would be a better way to drive in; 4WD and high clearance needed for that drive. Easy hike up the trail and fun scramble across some boulder to get to the top. This peak has a very remote feel and views at the top were great.
We met up at five a.m. on the north west corner of Las Vegas, drove to Mesquite and gassed up, then headed to the Southern Parkway in southern Utah and took the forest roads to the Cougar Springs trail head. A long, dusty drive. The hike itself was easy. Then we drove to Trumball, climbed it, and finished up the day walking up Mount Logan. Three peaks in one day, and roughly 225 miles of dirt road driving. These are some of the dustiest roads I've ever been on.
Went with Scott Peavy. Parked at 3,000 ft about a half-mile past the Corral at the mouth of Elbow Cyn. Road too rocky for his vehicle, so we started walking at 3:55 am the next morning. Walked up to pass, then to Littlefield Reservoir, then to the top. Peavy's GPS reported we walked 19 miles r/t, over 5,000 feet net gain. Beautiful weather, blue skies, calm conditions. The peak itself was a delight to scramble to. Egressed to car at 2:45 pm, then we drove back to Phoenix.
Hiked with Dean up to the reservoir and then followed the roadbed up to the base of the rocks. Nice thorny scramble to get to the summit.
We drove up Elbow Canyon from the Mesquite side and that is really a road that requires high clearance and 4WD. Nasty. Took us two hours to get to the trail head that is just beyond the corral at Cougar Springs. Great views from the top. Found the Hancock BM but no register. Wished I had taken one up with me. My
partner was Dennis Poulin.
Camped at the Cougar Spring TH with a couple cows. The next day we started for the peak and it was pretty crappy weather. 5 minutes into the hike it started snowing, the snow was on and off the whole hike. The clouds came in pretty thick once we were getting close to the summit, which made the route finding a little dificult. We decided to head straight for the summit that was marked on the GPS and I think that route made for a little bit more scrambling than usual. Clouds lifted once we got to the summit and it was beautiful to see something besides clouds.
Honda ended up a couple miles east of the peak, which
made for a longer approach than 4wd. It was over 100
degrees in the valley bottoms this day, and I hid in
the limited shade while eating lunch on top. A long
drive back to Tucson that night.
We parked the car at 4000' on Elbow Canyon Road (from Mesquite), only to realize (later on) that we could have driven (slowly) up to the pass at 6400'. No matter, we needed the exercise.
S ridge is nice, but there is a very nasty catclaw-like plant above 7000'. There are also very thick clumps of manzanita. Follow old roads or cowpaths whenever possible.
Made the hour+ drive to the Cougar Spring Trailhead based on thin information. Headed up the old jeep trail not knowing which peak was Mt. Bangs but assumed it was the large rocky peak to my left. As the trail began to fade I started having doubts, which only increased when I started scrambling over boulder after boulder. At length I reached the summit where a marker read "Hancock Peak" which made me think I screwed up. I headed north along the jeep trail where I had left it earlier and reached the top of the unnamed peak to the north thinking that was it, but was sorely disappointed when I couldn't find any marker other than a big pile of white rocks. I learned the truth when I got back home and looked at my TOPO software. A pretty cool, remote peak if you're looking for some out-of-the-way adventure!!