Ascent of Monument Peak on 2014-01-25

Climber: Jim Wick

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, January 25, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Monument Peak
    Elevation:6271 ft / 1911 m

Ascent Trip Report

My initial plan was to park at the Big Laguna Trailhead which was about milepost 25 of the Sunrise Highway. I was traveling from the south. As a approached milepost 25, I noticed a decent parking area on the left (east of the highway). I was technically at milepost 24.9. I could easily see milepost 25 sign from this parking area. GPS coordinates of the my parking spot were N32.88345 W116.42879. There is well used trail that leaves the parking area. On old maps this trail was likely once the old Monument Peak road (for a portion of the way). The trail was in great shape. It intersected with the Big Laguna Trail at GPS coordinates N32.88862 W116.42712. Turn right onto the Big Laguna Trail. After about 460 ft, the Big Laguna Trail intersects with the Pacific Crest Trail (N32.88817 W116.42583). Turn left onto the PCT. After 0.3 miles you come across a slight fork. Those that maintain the PCT have made sure you barely notice this fork with rocks lining the PCT. With the overgrowth getting bigger, it is real easy to miss. Go straight at the fork (N32.89181 W116.42564). This is the Monument Peak trail. The trail eventually winds around to the right. The trail comes upon a firebreak & a fenced communications compound. The firebreak heads over to Hays Peak. Go left around the fenced compound. There is a use trail that goes straight up to the peak from here. It didn't look that inviting and I don't know if you'd get RF damage (think microwave) from approaching that side of the communications tower. Instead of the use trail just go another twenty feet to the paved maintenance road. Turn left (go uphill). The road hike is just over a tenth of a mile with great views to the south. You will pass two smaller communications buildings on the right. Just before you reach the big (final) building/tower you'll notice some high ground to the right. This is the peak. Note: The RF domes on this side of tower have writing to let you know you are in danger from radiation/microwave as they are 'receive only'. I have to trust they are correct. There is a register (rusty 4inch diameter coffee cans); which I signed. There were notes dating back several decades. There are great views in every direction (except maybe just towards the communication tower you are next to). I returned the same way; which I deviated to Hayes Peak on the return at the firebreak/fence compound.

Note: I later noticed a parking area just north of milepost 25 (likely actually at 25.8) which had a big trailhead sign for Big Laguna Trail. This was my original intended parking area. The parking area was actually smaller and was full when I drove by. The mileage is likely unchanged but another route/parking alternative.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:530 ft / 161 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.9 mi / 4.7 km
    Route:Unknown Trail to Big Laguna Trail
    Trailhead:Sunrise Highway Milepost 24.9  5741 ft / 1749 m
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:40 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Monument Peak 2014 (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Monument Peak2014-01-25530 ft / 162 m
2Hays Peak2014-01-25222 ft / 68 m
3Garnet Peak2014-01-25491 ft / 150 m
4Garnet Mountain2014-01-25206 ft / 63 m
Total Trip Gain: 1449 ft / 443 m    Total Trip Loss: 1449 ft / 443 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Jim Wick
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.

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