Ascent of Blue Angels Peak on 1996-04-21

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Sunday, April 21, 1996
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Blue Angels Peak
    Elevation:4548 ft / 1386 m

Ascent Trip Report

The peak is named for the Navy's Blue Angels precision flying team which is based at the nearby El Centro Naval Auxiliary Air Station. Named by the Board on Geographic Names in 1970. The book " California County Summits" by Gary Suttle has a lot of information about the peak since it is a county high point. The peak register indicates it is climbed yearly by members of the Blue Angels team. The summit benchmark is named for the Smuggler's Cave shown on the topo map about one mile north of the peak.

Section 8 where the peak is located is BLM land open to public use. Vehicle travel is limited to existing roads. The driving route on sections 31 and 1 up to the crest of the steep grade is on private land which is not marked or restricted. The nearest BLM office is at 333 South Waterman Ave., El Centro, CA 92243. Phone: (619) 352-5842

To reach the peak exit Interstate 8 at the In-Ko-Pah Park Road and go south to the stop sign and turn right on Old Highway 80. After 0.2 miles turn left onto a dirt road and reset your odometer. Turn left immediately and stay on the road that parallels Highway 80 heading NE. This unsigned road is Smuggler's Cave Road, BLM Route Y2219. At 0.3 miles the road turns to the right. Continue straight ahead past minor junctions and pass under the power lines. Two-wheel drive vehicles should park at a pullout at 0.5 miles. Four-wheel drive vehicles can continue up the windy, steep road which has concrete paving in two spots. At 1.6 miles turn right up a hill at a triangle intersection. At 1.85 miles go left at a junction with a sign "Not a Thru Street" on your right. Then at about 2.0 miles curve to the right and descend a steep hill. Park at the bottom at 2.1 miles in a small turnout on your left. The road up the other side is steep with large boulders and is not worth the effort. UTM here is: 584580E, 3610170N (NAD27). There is very limited turnaround space here for maybe two vehicles at most. Hike up the rocky section of the road and go right at a junction and climb a hill. Stay left at a junction and then right at another junction. Where the road starts to descend and turn SW, leave the road and go SE, following a drainage to the base of the peak. Climb up fairly easy slopes to the large boulders at the top. The hike takes about 1/2 hour and is about 3/4 mile with an elevation gain of 500ft. Border monument #231, which can be seen from the peak, is a short hike to the south. 4/96 RLC
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