Ascent of Eagle Mountain on 2014-02-02

Climber: James Morehouse

Others in Party:rraine wajda
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, February 2, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Eagle Mountain
    Elevation:5350 ft / 1630 m

Ascent Trip Report

We took the Prius out for a two peak weekend, planning on pavement and "good dirt" for Sheephole Mountains High Point and Eagle Mountains High Point, both DPS peaks. Usually we take the XTerra, but the .25 mile of "good dirt" for Sheephole and the all pavement to Eagle led us to take the car because of the nearly three times better gas mileage. That .25 miles of "good dirt" was not meant for a seriously low clearance vehicle as a Prius. It made it, but barely. That being said, the trip into JTNP from there went without issue and we camped at the Cottonwood Springs campground in space 19B, two spots away from the 17B spot mentioned in the DPS guide. We started off at eight o'clock Sunday morning heading across the desert towards the large canyon seen to the left of the range. The area going out is mainly a series of sandy washes interspersed with granite formations which become a series of increasingly deep washes as one approaches the canyon. With a little route finding, one can minimize the amount of ups and downs, and none of it is difficult. Upon reaching the canyon, however, be prepared for a bouldery mess leading into it. There are ways one can find to avoid the worst of it. At about 4200' there is a gulley that must be climbed. One can either climb a stiff class 3 dryfall, or take a steep, loose slope above it, then drop back down into the gulley. We went up the loose slope, but chose to down climb the dry fall on the way back. The gulley starts out narrow and rocky, but soon opens up some. At the notch at 5040' (which really should be described as a saddle) the difficulties are over. The remaining .75 miles to the summit is over easy, pleasant terrain which drops down into a hidden valley, and back up the summit ridge with very scenic and vast views. The Salton Sea can be seen from here, as well as the desert stretching out for a hundred miles or more (assuming a clear day). My trip came in at 11.0 miles round trip, despite the published nine miles in the DPS description. Maybe it depends on how straight a line one takes through the desert approach. This was one of the most pleasant climbs I've had in some time.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2588 ft / 788 m
    Round-Trip Distance:11 mi / 17.7 km
    Route:DPS B route
    Trailhead:Cottonwood Springs Campground  2762 ft / 841 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2 and 3
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Morehouse
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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