Ascent of Clifty Benchmark on 1999-03-17

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Wednesday, March 17, 1999
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Clifty Benchmark
    Elevation:3273 ft / 997 m

Ascent Trip Report

Camping and hiking is permitted all year on the Kofa Refuge and permits are not needed. Vehicles must remain within 100 ft. of established roads and camping is not allowed within 1/4 mi. of any waterhole. Refuge headquarters is at: 356 W. First St. , Yuma, AZ 85366-6290. Tele: (602) 783-7861 Ask for the Kofa brochure which has a map of the back roads and numbered junctions.

Clifty BM is best climbed from the east side hiking up a broad plain to the east side of the peak. To reach the starting point drive to Stone Cabin on highway 95 which is 52.9 miles north of I-8 in Yuma. This is also just north of milepost 76. From here take King Road east for 6.2 miles and turn right (south) at junction 60. Drive south on this fair dirt road where high-clearance is needed for some arroyo crossings. After 4.9 miles stop at a cairn on the right and also a "No Vehicles" sign can be seen about 100 ft. back from the road on the same side. Park here and hike west on an old road into Virgin Basin. The road will turn north after one mile so leave the track and continue west. Go through a low saddle in some hills and continue up intervening ridges to a higher saddle in front of the large rock peak that is Clifty BM. From the saddle climb SW up a steep, rocky chute that tops out at a bench on the south side of the mountain. From here go north up easy rock and across rock ribs to a chute on your right. Climb this up to the ridge. Continue north climbing up a rock face and traverse left on a rough ledge past a small agave. Go around an exposed edge with good hand holds and ascend up to the top and then across several bumps to the summit. The ascent should take from 3 to 4 hours over the 4.25 mile route. Allow about 3 hours to return. The elevation gain is about 1600 ft. 3/99 RLC
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