Ascent of Silver Benchmark on 2021-05-31
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Monday, May 31, 2021|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Elevation:||2758 ft / 840 m|
Ascent Trip ReportTrailhead is a turnout near the Gaskill Stone Store in Campo, CA, near the intersection of Hwy 94 (aka Campo Rd.) and Forrest Gate Rd. This is a cute little scramble to a point just north of the urban core of Beautiful Downtown Campo. This is the nearest peak to the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. PCT turns left and skips downtown Campo. According to the Basemap app, the property belongs to Star Ranch Enterprises and is technically private land.
From the turnout, you scramble through some oak trees. I found a whiptail snake there, which waited patiently while I took some pictures and seemed quite undisturbed by the whole thing. It was still there when I left.
Once out of the trees, it's an interesting scramble to the peak. There is plenty evidence of foot traffic. There is some evidence of a quarrying operation at some point. Very little trash and no vandalism. This is a miracle considering its proximity to a populated area. There is some very minor bushwhacking. There are about eight benchmarks on the peak and I found three of them. Once on top, you can see as far south as the Tortilla Curtain and the surrounding ranches. There are truck trails leading from the road to the backside of the hill, but they appear to be gated off. I took time out for lunch on the peak, adding to my travel time.
Trip down was uneventful. Gaskill Stone Store is nearby, as are the remains of Camp Lockett (last home of the Buffalo Soldiers and a POW camp in WWII), and the Railway Museum. This hill can be a side trip if you are visiting either one. Interesting to note the presence of politically incorrect street signage. Forrest Gate is probably named for Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. There is also JEB Stuart Rd. (another Confederate General), and Sheridan Rd. (Union General and famous for his role in the Indian Wars). Campo Indian Reservation is also nearby.
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