From the picnic area, there are basically two possible routes, which can generally be referred to as the Left Route and the Right Route. Which one you choose will depend on where you start. If you start from the lower picnic area, you can pick either route. If you start from the upper picnic area, you will use the Left Route. However, no matter which route you use, your goal is the same. You want to reach this saddle
on the east ridge of Clark Mountain.
If you choose the Left Route, you will climb up to this ridge
, then towards the prominent cliffs
. Once you reach the cliffs, you will go around to the right side of them, to this location
. You will continue climbing up along the base of the cliffs until you reach a Class 3 notch. If you choose the Right Route, you will climb up to this ridge
. Climb up the ridge, then start angling to the left to reach the base of the cliffs just below the saddle. The Class 3 section is just below the saddle.
Once you reach the base of the cliffs, you must climb the Class 3 section to reach the saddle. Climb up the headwall
, which is about 30' high or so. This Class 3 headwall appears to be the easiest way to get through the cliffs, although other routes probably exist. Once above the Class 3 headwall, you will be in somewhat of a saddle on a ridgeline
. Turn left and start climbing up the ridge towards a false summit. You may have to scramble up some ledges and over a few rock outcroppings to reach the false summit. This is mostly a Class 2 section, but there may be a few Class 3 moves here and there. Once you reach the top of the false summit
, you will see Clark Mountain for the first time. Start climbing up the relatively easy slope towards Clark Mountain. You may be able to pick up some faint climbing trails here. Make the final push to the summit, where you can enjoy the desert views.
Hiking Distance: About five miles round trip.
Elevation Gain: About 570 meters.