Ascent of Peak 3880 on 2019-11-12

Climber: Jeffrey Swain

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Peak 3880
    Elevation:3880 ft / 1182 m

Ascent Trip Report

The Old Highway 80 cuts through the unincorporated community of Jacumba, CA. On the east side of town take the dirt road labeled Micah Gem Mine Road, which leads under I-8 to the Micah Gem Mine itself. In navigating, you want to lean to the right and/or take the high road. In an RV, you can probably follow the dirt roads to near the top. I parked at the Micah Gem Mine and followed the roads counter-clockwise towards the quarry. Then cut cross-country towards the volcanic plug that constitutes the peak. The last part of the climb in a Class 4 scramble. There are excellent views of the high desert landscape, the Border Wall, and the Anza Borrego Desert. Visibility was excellent in all directions, though the Coast was obscured by fog and I couldn't see the Salton Sea. Off-trail is unremarkable. No bushwhacking to speak of, but there are plenty of chollas to avoid. Much of the mountain is untouched by human activity, so the proliferation of native plants and cacti is pretty interesting.

Return trip followed the dirt roads, again counter-clockwise, back down to the Micah Gem Mine. There is a Border Patrol observation post on the north rim of the mountain. It consists of some kind of surveillance equipment and an unmarked truck. I couldn't tell if the station had a human presence.

Hike down was unremarkable.

I visited the nearby town of Jacumba Hot Springs, which merits further exploration. The famous hotel burned down in the 1980s and railroad traffic ended in 1952. The town has a post-apocalyptic feel like Radiator Springs and seems to attract a few mystics and seers. The Jacumba Spa is the most sophisticated dining area in town. You might avoid the Community Park if you are in serious need of a restroom. Not enough water in the tank to flush. Save it for the Golden Acorn Casino.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:587 ft / 178 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route:Dirt road leading right.
    Trailhead:Micah Gem Mine  3293 ft / 1003 m
    Grade/Class:Class 4
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Cloudless, hazy on the horizon.
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 28 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 28 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Jeffrey Swain
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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