Due to lack of high clearance or four-wheel drive, I hiked the dirt road past Buffington Pockets for approximately five miles to the BLM wilderness boundary. I followed the standard route from there. This was a wonderful wilderness jaunt. Despite the record drought in the West, there was still water in the Sandstone Doughnut. Hidden Valley was the highlight. It was a twenty-mile round trip hike from the graded road.
Penelope May and I had the most beautiful trip climbing the peak on New Year's Day,2011. The road from the Valley of Fire is bad, bordering on true 4WD in places. Disregard the old DPS (cc 2004) driving instructions, presently high clearance vehicle is absolutely required and you'll be happy to have a 4WD!!! We managed to get within about 1/2 mile of the dirt road's end. The hike via Hidden Valley is really beautiful and the scramble from the saddle up very nice. Aestheticaly, this is one of the best desert peaks we have done in many years, the scenery is outstanding. There was snow on the ground and on the rock, slowing us down a little, but making the scrambling sections really neat. Cold winter day. 8.5 hours RT.
Challenging Hike and scramble.