Broken Top South Peak, Oregon, August 2019

On Sunday, August 4, I hiked and scrambled up Broken Top South Peak in Central Oregon’s Cascade Range. This is the obvious, but not officially named peak 0.34 mile south of the actual summit of Broken Top. It has 454 feet of clean prominence and 9094 feet of elevation. It is most easily accessible from the Broken Top Trailhead which requires a high clearance vehicle to reach.

Broken Top from the southeast. The Broken Top summit lies beyond the Crook Glacier.
Broken Top from the southeast. The Broken Top summit lies beyond the Crook Glacier.

The Broken Top Trailhead is very popular since it provides access to the scenic “No Name Lake” below the east face of Broken Top. The parking spaces at the trailhead were full when I arrived, but I found parking beside the road nearby.

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Big Craggies, Oregon, June 2019

On Saturday afternoon, June 23, I rendezvoused with three peakbagging friends, Caleb Morris, Michael Berry, and Michael Wanberg above the confluence of the Illinois and Rogue Rivers. We then drove to our campsite deep in the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest. We had come to climb Big Craggies, a peak with only 4619 feet of elevation, but 2099 feet of topographic prominence and the 63rd most prominent peak in Oregon.

Looking east along the ridge towards Green Craggie, our first summit of the day
Looking east along the ridge towards Green Craggie, our first summit of the day

Sunday morning we got an early start and drove to the end of a minor forest road. That put us on a west ridge that led east over Green Craggie and Peak 4150 towards Big Craggies.

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Mazatzal Peak, Arizona, April 2019

On Thursday, April 18, Linda and I and our dogs parked our trailer beside the Barnhardt Trailhead road and camped below the crest of the Mazatzal Mountains south of Payson, Arizona. We were boondocking, which meant we had no hookups but did have a lot of room for ourselves, dark nights, and little vehicle noise from AZ Highway 87 about a mile away. Our nearest neighbors were about half a mile away. We spent two nights camped there. Linda spent Friday morning mountain biking from our campsite up to the Barnhardt Trailhead. I spent Friday climbing nearby Mazatzal Peak.

View of Mazatzal Peak from our campsite beside the Barnhardt Trail Road
View of Mazatzal Peak from our campsite beside the Barnhardt Trail Road

From our campsite Mazatzal Peak rose directly to the west. Its summit was visible high on the left side of the peak. Suicide Ridge gently descended from it to the right then dropped steeply down towards the Barnhardt Trailhead further right.

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Forest Hill, Arizona, March 2019

On Saturday, March 30, I joined the Southern Arizona Hiking Club for a climb of Forest Hill, the highpoint of the Little Rincon Mountains east of Tucson. Forest Hill has 6114 feet of elevation and 1554 feet of topographic prominence, making it the 135th most prominent peak in Arizona. In spite of its low prominence the peak was fun and scenic.

The north slopes of Forest Hill, Little Rincon Mountains
The north slopes of Forest Hill, Little Rincon Mountains

Will Whitaker, the Chief Guide for SAHC, led the outing. Five others joined us, including June Meyer and Tom Tutein. We left Tucson and drove east on I-10, then turned north into Happy Valley, just east of the Rincon Mountains. This was my first drive into Happy Valley since the spring of 2015 when I hiked Rincon Peak and Mica Mountain.

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