Sheephole Mountains, Eagle Mountains #1
By: Dick Banner
From the micro-wave relay station at Sheephole Pass we hiked SE up an obvious canyon for about 1-1/2 miles and then climbed out of it to the East, gaining the ridge about 1/4 mile NW of Sheephole Mtn. We lunched on top and then returned to the cars on about the same route. After Saturday night in the Cottonwood Springs camground we drove about 3 miles NE from the campground on the signed 'Conejo Springs Jeep Road' and climbed Eagle from the NW.
Back at the cars we met Ranger Ed Carlson who advised that in an area of 'NO OFF-ROAD DRIVING', such as we were in, parallel parking near the road is preferable to the perpendicular manner we had used because it is less likely to result in tracks that others would be tempted to follow and extend. Good advise! He also said that the area around Eagle Mtn had recently acquired wilderness status and therefore the Conejo Springs road would be closed in the near future. This will prevent use of this road for access to the short route on Eagle Mtn. Future trips might start the hike from either the Cottonwood Springs campground or the Lost Palms Trail, or use the road up the canyon from Chiriaco Summit on I-10 (day use only). And finally, he advised that the signed parking area along the Pinto Basin Road be used for access to Pinto Mtn., rather than attempt a closer approach on the soft sandy road leading into Pinto Wash. This road might also be closed in the near future.
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