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Ascent of Sawtooth Mountains High Point on 1994-03-13

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Sunday, March 13, 1994
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Sawtooth Mountains High Point
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:4684 ft / 1427 m

Ascent Trip Report

The name comes from the very distinct sawtooth shape of the north-south ridge. When viewed from the NE at Moonlight Pass (see hiking description) there are five distinct bumps on the ridgeline of the Sawtooth Mountains.

The mountain is part of the 35,000 acre Sawtooth Mountains Wilderness Area. A permit is not required for entry. Some cattle grazing is still allowed in the Inner Pasture. The area is administered by the BLM Resource Office, Box 2000, Palm Springs, Ca. 92258-2000. (619) 251-4800

The Sawtooth Range is in an isolated area and there are no close approaches possible by car. Several roads that come close to the mountain are all closed or long since abandoned. The peak can be reached in a long dayhike although many prefer to backpack into a canyon on the north side. Start the hike near the shuffleboard court in the campground at Agua Caliente Springs County Park on highway S2. Take the Moonlight Trail which goes past a water tank and then climbs over a ridge and drops down into Moonlight Canyon. Turn right up the second wash and in a few hundred feet go left over a steep hill when a dry waterfall appears. Proceed up the canyon gaining 760 ft. in about 1 mile to a saddle with a view of the Inner Pasture. Drop down and head SW across the broad valley floor to an old road leading SSW into a canyon on the north side of Red Top. The upper part of the canyon is a good camp spot since there is often water available in the winter months. The high point of the range is in the NW corner of section 10. To reach the summit, follow the canyon SSW for about 1.5 miles until a saddle is reached west of Red Top. From here head west up to the summit. The summit block is an interesting, short class 3 climb. The register is usually below the summit on the south side. One-way distances are 4.3 miles to the spring and 2.3 miles from there to the top. As a day hike allow 10 to 11 hours round-trip. It can be combined with a climb of nearby Red Top. 3/94 RLC
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