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Ascent of Granite Mountain on 2020-05-24

Climber: David Sharg

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, May 24, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Granite Mountain
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:5633 ft / 1716 m

Ascent Trip Report

Granite Mountain

5/24/2020
Total distance: 10.05 miles
Elevation gain: 3,510 feet
Total time: 9 hours, 10 minutes
Start time: 6:15am
Trailhead: SR2 at the Cool Canyon Turnoff
Accomplishments by list: HPS #64

Difficulty of hike: 9 out of 10. Definitely more difficult than a standard 6POP hike, but there's other HPS hikes that are worse. The gully at the start is easy, but once you get on the ridge, it will be more difficult, and the high class 2/low class 3 scrambling between Peak 4624 and Peak 5184 will take longer than you expect. The prickly plants and the high temperatures didn't help. If I were to do it again, I would wear long pants and gloves.

Views during hike: 10 out of 10. The views slowly open up as you climb, but there are tremendous at the summit. You can see Cuyamaca, Middle, North and Stonewall peaks to the west, Garnet and Monument peaks to the southwest, Whale Peak to the east, and the Salton Sea and the Santa Rosa mountains (Villager and Rabbit) to the northeast.

Ascent on the descent: About 100-200 feet of extra climbing to return to Peak 4624, not much more elsewhere.

People seen on the hike: 1 hiker and his dog about 1/2 mile from the trailhead. Highly unlikely he summited the mountain since he had no water or any equipment, and was returning at 6:45am.

Animals seen on the hike: lots of rabbits in Cool Canyon between SR2 and the proper trailhead, but none in the gully or elsewhere on the hike. Some of the biggest lizards seen in Southern California.

I was staying in the Temecula area for Labor Day, so I wanted to take the opportunity to hike some southern peaks on the HPS list. My goal for this day was to do Whale Peak. However, due to COVID-19, the dirt roads in Anza Borrego were closed to vehicular traffic, but not to hiking. So if I were to start from SR2, it would mean 3-5 additional miles to get to Whale Peak, but only 1 additional mile to get to Granite Mountain. So I decided to go with Plan B and hike Granite.

I downloaded about 4 tracks from Peakbagger for a Granite Mountain hike, all of them roughly following HPS Route 3. The route starts in a gully, which was quite easy, then eventually gains a ridge, which climbs about 1,600 feet over 1 mile to reach Peak 4624. From there, it's a 200 foot descent, followed by a 700 foot climb, which is mostly high Class 2, with occasional low Class 3 sections, to reach Peak 5184. With lots of sharp plants on the trail, it's easy for your hands to get pricked, so gloves are a good idea on this section. From Peak 5184 to the summit, the climb is not that bad.

On the descent route, I decided to drop into the gully a bit earlier to avoid the steep ridge. That was not a good idea, since this part of the gully has more dry waterfalls than the earlier part. With the heat of the day, a lot of the rocks were hot to the touch, making the scrambling down these waterfalls difficult.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
Ascent Part of Trip: Granite

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Peak 46242020-05-24 
2Peak 51842020-05-24 
3Granite Mountain2020-05-24 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by David Sharg
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. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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