Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 35.73800°N / 117.996°W
Additional Information Elevation: 8453 ft / 2576 m
Sign the Climber's Log


This mountain stands as the most dominant peak in the Southern Sierra area right outside the towns of Ridgecrest and Inyokern. The hike up to the summit is short but intense, gaining around 2850 feet in around 2 miles. The views from the top are impressive. Telescope peak can be seen to the east, Mt Whitney, Langley and Olancha to the north, Lake Isabella to the west, and desert views all around you. The route up is mostly a hike, but does involve scrambling on some class 2 granite slabs and one short boulder hop before that.

There are also many good rock climbing routes on the ridge just east of the peak. There are climbs on both the north and south sides - some are known to be chossy, but some are of rather good quality as well.

If you're lucky, you'll be at the top when the birds play in the wind. They'll drift around until they catch a gust and then go whizzing right past the summit - sometimes close to your head!! I know a few people, including myself, who have seen this.

Getting There

It's a little tricky getting to the trailhead. If heading North on the 14/395 you need to take a left at the top of the hill just past the Indian Wells Valley brewery. A dirt road takes you to the trailhead from there. It's easy to take a wrong turn in a few spots. I found the directions on this page very helpful for finding the right way:

Owens Peak driving directions

Red Tape

None - no permits required. You can quite often have the place to yourself, when hiking this peak.

When To Climb

You can climb this peak year round. However, winter, spring and fall is the best time. Despite the elevation, this peak can get HOT in the summer time. I seem to recall some of the hot months being rather buggy. In addition, winter time can find this peak with a nice amount of snow on it, and could require the use of gaiters and an ice axe.


There is a picturesque campsite right near the TH, but it would be primitive camping. No toilets, water, etc.


From the Jenkins guide:

"The pioneer explorer John C Fremont honored Richard Owens, a member of his third expedition, by naming Owens Lake for him. Owens Valley, River, Point and Peak were later named, but there is no evidence that Owens ever saw these places."

External Links

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Bob Burd

Bob Burd - May 31, 2005 12:59 am - Voted 10/10

Untitled Comment

The summit register (as of Oct 2004) goes back to 1959, one of the oldest registers to be found in the Southern Sierra.


artirm - Oct 28, 2013 10:31 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Untitled Comment

Unfortunately, as of Oct 2013, the register goes back hardly a month...


artirm - Oct 28, 2013 10:44 am - Hasn't voted


The link provided on the main page indeed gives the best instructions. The "dirt road" shown on the map to go all the way to the TH is in fact much worse than the "jeep trail" recommended on the page. Google directions (Oct, 2013) sent us along the "dirt road" and that was a true test of my Element's off road capabilities.


bobpickering - Jun 17, 2017 4:52 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Directions

It appears that the BLM has been doing considerable roadwork since 2013. All the roads have signs with road numbers, but no road names. Google Maps and the directions are wrong as of 6/15/17. Turn onto the dirt road 0.2 miles north of Indian Wells Lodge. There is no sign here, but you will soon see signs indicating that you are on SE152. After about 2.8 miles, you will continue past a road on the left, and SE152 becomes SE164. Follow SE164 about 5 miles to the trailhead (easier said than done).

395er - Jan 20, 2017 5:58 pm - Hasn't voted

Road in Bad Shape 1/15/17

Lots of rain!!! The series of dirt roads to the trailhead were extremely washed out after mile 3. No problem in the landcruiser (although I was wishing I had brought a shovel and boards) but not the usual 2wd high clearance road. 4wd only for a while. There was a rockslide and a cow sized boulder in the road just past the last creek crossing. Unless you have a motorcycle will add about a 1/2 mile to the hike.


Romain - Feb 6, 2017 10:50 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Road in Bad Shape 1/15/17

2/6/17. Indeed, very washed out road as of today. Stopped about a mile short of the TH doe to a deep water groove across the whole span of the road. Didn't want to risk it even in a 4Runner.


bobpickering - Jun 17, 2017 4:29 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Road in Bad Shape 1/15/17

I went up 6/15/17 in my F250 4X4 long bed with ordinary all season tires. The lower part of the road was pretty good, but the higher I went, the worse it got. There were many deep ruts running down and across the road. I was able to get by all of them by driving slowly and carefully, but it wasn’t easy. There was a huge boulder in the road at 5,350’, just after crossing Morris Canyon. Some vehicles had been driving around it, right on the edge of a steep drop off. I didn’t want to take that chance with such a big vehicle in the dark, so I backed down to Morris Canyon, and turned around. I ended up parking less than a mile from the trailhead. The BLM was working on smoothing the road and filling in all the ruts. They were using a small bulldozer, not much bigger than a Bobcat. The lower ruts were already repaired, and they seemed to be working their way up to the trailhead. The repaired sections were smooth, but like driving on 6” of talcum powder.

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Southern SierraMountains & Rocks