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Chuckwalla Mountain


Location: Kern County, about 16 miles north-northeast of Mojave, 110 miles from Los Angeles


Auto ClubKern County
USGS TopoCinco 7½
Official HPS Maps TPO file - Save to your computer then open with National Geographic TOPO!
 Viewable PDF file - Approximately 17 megs
 GPX file or Google Earth KML file to download to GPS units and other map software (How to use GPX and KML files)
 Routes as shown on CalTopo using the above files (How to use CalTopo)

Nearby Peaks: Cross Mountain

Printable version of this route


Distance: 4 miles round trip on road and cross-country
Gain: 1400'
Time: 3 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, moderate
Navigation: Moderate

Original: John Backus, March 1973


  • High clearance vehicle required.
  • From Mojave, drive north on SR 14 for 14.0 miles to Pine Tree Canyon Road. (You can see the white L.A. aqueduct pipe from here but from nowhere else.) Turn left. Note your odometer and go as follows:
  • At 0.4 mile, power lines.
  • At 1.3 miles, go under the new aqueduct (tall vehicles take the left fork). Keep straight ahead (west) at a fork just past the aqueduct.
  • At 2.1 miles, fork. Go right. There is a good campsite here.
  • At 2.3 miles, cross the old aqueduct and cattle guard and go right at the immediate next fork. The road turns north into a canyon.
  • At 3.4 miles, fork. Keep straight.
  • At 3.5 miles, the road turns sharp right and goes up a ridge.
  • At 3.8 miles, fork. Go sharp left.
  • At 4.0 miles, the road starts downhill and a jeep road forks to the left. Go left on the jeep road.
  • At 4.5 miles, the road forks in a saddle. Park here.


  • From the parking area (3600'), follow motorcycle tracks northwest up the ridge to where a road comes up from the right.
  • Follow this road as it goes steeply up the hill, swings around to the right, and ends in a flat area, just below a mining prospect.
  • From the prospect a well-defined use trail contours around the east side of elevation 4964' into a saddle northeast of it, then up the ridge to the summit.

Printable version of this route


Distance: 8 miles round trip on road and cross-country
Gain: 3100' total, 2700' out plus 400' on return
Time: 5-7 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, moderate
Navigation: Moderate
Leader Rating: "I", normal conditions

Original: Charlie Knapke, December 1995


  • From Mojave, drive north on SR 14 for 19.5 miles to Jawbone Canyon Road on the left. Turn left. Note your odometer and go as follows:
  • At 4.1 miles, pavement ends.
  • At 6.3 miles, fork with a gated road to the left. Park here. This is also the parking spot for Cross Mountain.


  • From the parking area (2700'), hike past the gate for 0.4 mile to a fork to the left.
  • Turn left and follow this road ("White Rock Mine Road") about a mile to where it turns left and crosses a wash.
  • Leave the road on the right here and follow this wash a short distance southwest and then up to the top of the ridge straight ahead. This is about 1/4 mile south of elevation 3362'.
  • Follow the ridge over several bumps until reaching the final slopes of the peak itself, where a motorcycle track comes in from the left.
  • Take this motorcycle trail to the main saddle just north of Chuckwalla and then head steeply south cross-country to the summit.


Route 2 can be combined with Routes 1 and 2 for Cross Mountain to allow both peaks to be done as a loop trip without the need for a car shuttle. This trip can be done in a clockwise or counter clockwise configuration.

This route is not recommended until access on BLM property is resolved (May 2021). The gate remains locked and security patrol advises hikers that this is private property. BLM property is open to the public, but negotiating the private vs BLM parcels is potentially difficult.

Printable version of this route


Distance: 5 miles round trip
Gain: 4200' total, 3000' out plus 1200' on return
Time: 4.5-7 hours round trip
Rating: Class 2, very strenuous

Original: Peter Doggett, April 2009


  • From Mojave, drive north on SR 14 for 15.9 miles. This is Cinco, CA. Exit the highway on the left and reset your odometer.
  • Make an immediate right.
  • After about 0.1 miles, the paved roads turns to the left. Do not turn left, remain straight and follow the major dirt road.
  • At 0.4 mile, a minor dirt road goes off to the right, keep straight.
  • At 0.7 mile, 4-Way junction under the power lines, keep straight.
  • At 0.8 mile, 4-Way Junction under the power lines, keep straight.
  • At 1.3 mile, mine ruins.
  • At 2.6 miles, go up.
  • At 3.0 miles, car impaled into hillside, turn left.
  • At 5.0 miles, junction, turn right.
  • At 5.3 miles, junction, turn right.
  • At 6.1 miles, junction. Park here. Old sign indicating mine hazards. Ample parking.


  • From the parking area (3280'), follow the dirt road on the right for about 0.1 mile up to an old mine at about 3350'.
  • From this mine, continue SW to a saddle on the ridgeline at about 3550'.
  • Turn left and follow the ridge to a bump at about 3600'.
  • Continue down the ridge to about 3500', at which point you'll drop down to the right into a narrow canyon.
  • Cross this canyon at about 3340' and proceed NW up a ridge a short distance, only to drop again into another canyon.
  • From this canyon, proceed west up a major ridge until one reaches a motorcycle path that follows along the top of the ridge.
  • Turn right and follow this motorcycle path to a major saddle at 4500' which is 0.3 mile NE of the Chuckwalla summit.
  • From this saddle, hike SW up a steep hillside for about 530' to the summit.


  • The views from the motorcycle path are breathtaking & spectacular.
  • Do not consider climbing the flume. These rocks are loose, slippery & dangerous.

Learn more about Chuckwalla Mountain.

Please report any corrections or changes to the Mountain Records Chair.

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