Southwest Ridge

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required:
Most of a day
Class 2

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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Southwest Ridge
Created On: May 31, 2005
Last Edited On: Apr 2, 2015


Indian Wells is undoubtedly the shortest and quickest way to climb Owens Peak. But it you're looking for a bit more of a challenge, and perhaps are interested in bagging a few other HPS peaks along the way (Morris and Jenkins), consider the approach via the PCT starting from Walker Pass.

One definite advantage is that no dirt roads need be negotiated. Drive to Walker Pass on SR178 and park on the left or right side of the pass near the CA historical marker for Walker Pass. The PCT heading north is actually a short distance east of the pass. At the very pass there are numerous use trails zigzagging to nowhere in particular on the north side of the road. These are most likely reinforced regularly by disoriented PCTers struggling to find their way once they cross the road. Look to the east for a trailhead sign.

Follow the PCT past Morris Peak and the east side of Mt. Jenkins for about 8 miles to a saddle between the north end Mt. Jenkins (Pt. 7,802ft) and Mt. Owens. Indian Wells is off to the east. There may be a faint use trail leaving this obvious saddle, or it may be obliterated.

Route Description

The route follows the obvious ridgeline from the saddle SW of Owens Peak. An obvious use trail leads up the first part from the saddle with ducks all the way to the summit in case the route isn't obvious. It is an interesting scramble with perhaps too many ducks for a Sierra peak. If you have climbed other HPS peaks you will understand the culture of excessive ducking and it may not bother you. Feel free to knock over any you think are worthless - they are generally frowned on in Wilderness areas, and aren't really needed anyway.

About 300ft from the summit the ducks will lead across a boulder/scree slope on the southeast side where it joins up with the Indian Wells use trail a short distance below the summit.

Essential Gear

Sturdy shoes.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Southwest Ridge

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