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Skinner Peak


Location: Kern County, about 35 miles north of Mojave, 137 miles from Los Angeles


Auto ClubKern County
USGS ToposCane Canyon 7½, Horse Canyon 7½
Official HPS Maps TPO file - Save to your computer then open with National Geographic TOPO!
 Viewable JPG file - Approximately 325K
 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)

Printable version of this route


(High clearance vehicles are recommended)
Distance: 8 miles round trip on trail and cross-country
Gain: 1900'
Time: 3-4 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, moderate
Navigation: Moderate

Original: Alan Coles, November 1988


  • From Mojave, go north on SR 14 for 33.4 miles to a dirt road signed 'SC 65'. Turn left. This is 13.9 miles north of Jawbone Canyon or 8.8 miles south of the westbound (Walker Pass) SR 178 junction with SR 14. Note your odometer and go as follows:
  • Cross an immediate cattle guard.
  • At 2.6 miles, a faint junction. Keep straight.
  • At 4.9 miles, a cattle guard and a covered aqueduct. Turn left (south). This is the turnoff for Route 1. Continue straight for Route 2. Note your odometer again.
  • At 0.6 mile, a cattle guard.
  • At 0.9 mile, junction with SC 106 to the right. Turn right (west).
  • At 1.3 miles, junction at a second aqueduct. Keep straight.
  • At 2.9 miles, SC 47 forks left. Keep straight on SC 106.
  • At 5.0 miles, fork with SC 120. Turn right (northwest) on SC 120.
  • At 9.0 miles, Bird Spring Pass. Park here.

Bird Spring Pass may also be reached by driving north on Jawbone Canyon Road 32.2 miles from SR 14 to the fork for SC 120 on the right (east). This fork is also 5.7 miles north of the Piute Mountain Road fork at Sageland. Drive east on SC 120 for 5.6 miles to Bird Spring Pass.


  • Hike north on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from the parking area (5300'). The trail starts in a northeast direction, eventually switchbacks up the eastern slopes to the main ridgeline, and then heads westward toward the peak. Stay on the PCT to about 7000' where it definitely starts downhill. Note: The PCT route is not as shown on the USGS topo map.
  • Turn left here, leave the trail, and go up to the ridge.
  • Go west along the ridge to the summit, which is a solitary rock just west of a clump of rocks and trees that you see first.

On the return trip it is possible to descend a great scree slope from elevation 6931' down to the trail below. Turn right on the trail and follow it back to the parking area.

Printable version of this route


(High clearance vehicles are recommended)
Distance: 5 miles round trip on trail and cross-country
Gain: 900'
Time: 2-3 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, easy
Navigation: Moderate

Original: Charlie Knapke, January 1991


  • From the turnoff mentioned in Route 1, continue straight on SC 65 all the way to where it crosses a broad saddle just north of elevation 6455'. Park here at a road fork.


  • From the parking area (6440'+), hike southwest up the left road fork a short distance to where the PCT descends the slope from the south.
  • Go left (south) on the PCT to the turnoff point from the PCT described in Route 1.
  • Follow Route 1 hiking directions from here.


Route 2 is shorter and more wooded than Route 1. Road access is only from the east, so it is more difficult to combine Skinner Peak with other nearby peaks in a day's hiking via this route.

Scodie Mountain, Pinyon Peak, Onyx Peak #2, and Skinner Peak lie in the Kiavah Wilderness which is bounded on the south by the road over Bird Spring Pass and on the north by SR 178 and Walker Pass. The road up Horse Canyon (Skinner Route 2) is open and is a "cherry stem" into the Wilderness.

Learn more about Skinner Peak.

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

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