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McPherson Peak, Peak Mountain

17 August 1991

By: Leora Jones

Leaders: Ron & Leora Jones

After waiting for the Friday evening traffic to die down, we left Fullerton about 6:45 pm, only to find it hadn't really died down at all. Somewhere near the San Fernando Valley, we were up to 55 mph. Arriving about 10:30 pm, we spent a restful, cool night near the green oak trees in the Aliso Campground just outside of New Cuyama off of Hwy 166. The Buckhorn Cafe was open at 7 am and served an inexpensive, satisfactory breakfast.

Six of us met at the intersection of Cottonwood Cyn Road and Hwy 166 at 8 am for a one hour drive up Bates Canyon to the saddle parking area for Peak Mountain. We hiked the 3.3 miles on the dirt road to the summit of McPherson, and the lookout is no longer there. The guide reads, "The register is under the steps of the lookout house." The register is in fact still there, under a small pile of rocks next to the remains of the lookout and a large circular cement tank. After a quick rest in the shade, we headed back to our cars down the same road. With another 200' of gain, we were atop Peak Mountain. The total hiking time for these two peaks was three hours.

On the guide of Peak Mtn under "Route 2" it is an option to drive to McPherson and hike back on the road to get Peak Mtn. It would save a little driving to be listed as a "Route 3" on McPherson and hike up the road to McPherson from Peak Mtn. There appeared to be room for several cars on a wide area at the base of the jeep road for Peak Mtn.

Even though the air temperature was mid 80's, it felt quite warm. We caravanned to the White Oak Campground, just next to the Ranger station for a potluck picnic lunch around 1 pm. The usual large assortment was presented and enjoyed.

We hope to see more of newcomers Olga De La Garza and Steve Riepe. Also Jim Kilberg and Marianne Simmen of Switzerland joined us for this one day 2-bagger. Thanks to all for a pleasant hike and day.

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