Ascent of Crockett Peak on 2014-04-13

Climber: Daryn Dodge

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, April 13, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Crockett Peak
    Elevation:6172 ft / 1881 m

Ascent Trip Report

Crockett Peak has over 1000 ft of prominence. One of 972 in California according to Richard Carey's Peakbagging website. It is also on the California Coastal Peaks list.

To get there, I drove Hwy 5 to Willows, then west on Hwy 162 to Rd 306. I turned left onto 306, drove through the town of Elk Creek, and then right (west) onto Rd 308 south of Elk Creek. After 4.8 mi. on Rd 308, the road went from paved to dirt. In another 0.35 mi there was a junction. Either way goes to Rd M3 on the main range ridge. Taking a right at this junction has a little better road surface overall. A total of 8.2 miles from the junction gets you to Rd M3.

Once on M3 I drove south for over 15 miles to the signed left turn for West Crockett trailhead and campsite. Another 0.3-0.4 miles brought me to the end of the road where there was a bathroom and parking. There was also a TH information board and sign-in box. The entire dirt road section of the drive to the TH was good-to-excellent graded dirt road. A passenger car could make the journey here.

From the parking area , I simply climbed cross-country SE 1200 ft up the peak. There's plenty of loose rock nearer the top where it got steeper. Luckily there was little or no brush to fight and good tree cover. The summit had two rock outcroppings of about equal height, the easternmost had a small rock cairn on top. This was a fairly pristine peak for this area with no road or trail to the top. Not even a register or benchmark. I had a great view of snow-covered Snow Peak and St. John Mountain.

On the way down I took the north ridge to a saddle between Crockett peak and Point 5322. Then west in a gully back to the car. The return hike was not quite as steep and had some good plunge-stepping down scree and sand.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1222 ft / 372 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:NW slope to north ridge
    Trailhead:West Crockett TH and campsite  4950 ft / 1508 m
    Route Conditions:

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