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Bernard Peak, Little Berdoo Peak, Bighorn Mountains

6 January 1990

By: Lou Brecheen

Leaders: Lou Brecheen, Ron jones

Many of you already know that the road through Berdoo Canyon is officially closed by Riverside County and is easily passable only for 4 wheel drive vehicles. Many of us discovered that Saturday morning when we tried to drive it to the meeting place at the southern edge of Joshua Tree National Monument to start the climb of Bernard and Little Berdoo. We were forced to make the long drive around via Cottonwood Campground & Visitor's station and come in from the north via the Squaw Tank road (which is also no longer maintained and is posted "4 wheel drive only"). Still, twenty-four persistent hikers started and completed the climb of these two nice peaks.

The desert was very enjoyable, with clear skies and cool temperatures both days. There were just enough clouds on the horizons to make for beautiful sunsets and sunrises. The hikes were slow-to-moderate paced, so everyone could enjoy. We lost many of our participants after returning from Bernard and Little Berdoo, but still eleven lovers of Mexican food drove out two miles on the New Dixie Mine Road and stopped to camp in a wide, dry wash and prepare and eat a wide variety of Mexican dishes, ranging from Enchilades de Pollo through Tamales con Maiz shucks to Salsas, Lechuga, y Burritos; Con mucha Cerveza y Vino!

Many new tracks & trails have been traced across the bajada on the way to the Bighorn trailhead, still the peak guide is valid and will get you to the starting point. We parked our three vehicles just south of the cabin and hiked across the "ups & downs" into the subcanyon, following the road onto the plateau where we hiked its length to the nondescript summit rock. It was a fine day and a good hike. All participants are hereby commended. Thanks to Ron Jones for an exceptional assist, replete with suggestions for making the trip better for both the leader and the participants.

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