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Ascent of Devil Peak on 2005-09-10

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Saturday, September 10, 2005
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Devil Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:6989 ft / 2130 m

Ascent Trip Report

The Chowchilla Mtns are located in the Sierra NF near the south entrance to Yosemite National Park. The preferred approach as far as road conditions are concerned is from CA-41 on the east side. Anyone approaching the general area from the north is faced with one of three somewhat undesirable choices: 1) go through the park and pay the $20 entrance fee (and possibly deal with crowds and gridlock), 2) go much farther south on CA-49 to Oakhurst, only to go north again on CA-41, or 3) take Chowchilla Mtn Road, which is in poorer condition than the forest roads on the east side, from CA-49 to the west. I chose option 2.

I originally planned to take Chowchilla Mtn Road from Wawona, which I thought was just outside the south entrance of the park, but as I drove north on CA-41 I discovered that the park entrance is nearly 10 miles south of Wawona, and I would have to pay the fee to go that way. So I went back to a ranger station 6 miles south of the park entrance to inquire about other roads. They said that a good dirt road, suitable for my rented Chevy Cavalier, approached from just south of Fish Camp. I located the turnoff for this road across the highway from the Tenaya Lodge. Just after the turnoff the road splits into 3 choices. The correct choice is the leftmost branch, which follows a sign saying Summit Camp. It is paved for a few tenths of a mile, then becomes dirt. I followed this road for about 5 miles (I didn't measure the exact distance) to a 4-way junction where it reaches Chowchilla Mtn Rd. This is the intersection near the center of section 9 on the USGS topo map. From this point one can take either a northern or southern route to Summit Campground, and the topo map shows the northern route as being in better condition, but today the southern route is in better condition, so I opted for it, thereby taking the leftmost possible choice at the junction near the center of section 9. At main junctions (excluding side roads), I turned left after about a mile (near Summit Camp), then right after another ¾ mile (leaving Chowchilla Mtn Rd), and parked my car at 5900', walking the rest of the way to get my traditional 1000' gain. Using a topo map, the route to the summit is strightforward. There is a gate, which was open when I was there, just above the final switchback in the road at 6740'. The summit lookout is manned. The highest boulder is at the north end of a gas tank on the west side of the lookout.
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