Eagle Mountains #1
By: John Leonard
After we reached the summit of Eagle Peak, we found that two other DPS groups had recently climbed it. As we sat there recovering from a very tiring cross-country route, we imagined there might be an easier way. Surely Randy Bernard & John Sandor or Igor & Tanya Mamedalin and Suzanne Thomas have discovered a direct way that avoided our scrambling over boulders, down ravines, and up the side of stream beds. The topo doesn't do justice to the rugged terrain of that area! We had started from Cottonwood Springs, left the Lost Palms Trail after 2-1/2 miles to climb a saddle, and dropped down into Lost Palm Canyon. There we were slowed by the many gullies and meandering streambeds that carve up the canyon. The ascent from the canyon was straightforward, but at the top we saw the route we should have taken.
We descended the west ridge, contouring mostly on the south side to avoid pinnacles. We reached a point on the ridge (between the I & N of Eagle Mountains on the Cottonwood Springs topo) where we could see how a gully became a stream bed and then merged with a large wash in the distance. We went down the not very steep gully, found the streambed, and followed it for about a mile westward. The streambed joined a larger one and headed southwest for about a mile before broadening into the large wash. There we reached the Lost Palms Trail about 200 yards southeast of the sign pointing to Mastodon Peak. After a half mile on the trail we came to Cottonwood Springs. Using the ridge, stream bed and wash saved us a couple of hours.
When I talked to John Sandor, he said Randy and he left Cottonwood Springs and hiked directly toward Eagle Peak, going up and down all the way. Igor's group hiked down the trail, like we did, and experienced the same frustrations of striking out to reach the ridge. We recommend the soft sand of the stream beds to walk through the desert. Perhaps a view from the top is the easiest way down.
Desert Lore and Cures Mexican Desert folk healers recognize the Roadrunner bird's formidable ability to digest poisonous animals such as rattlesnakes and scorpions. As a result they prescribe a stew of roadrunner meat, onions, tomatoes and garlic as a cure for tuberculosis, itches, boils, lung problems and leprosy.
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