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!!