By: Maris Valkass
I have heard many uncomplimentary comments about this peak, such as boring, a grind, never ending, etc. Since Anna and I needed it, the only thing left was to do it.
We followed Dale Van Dalsem's route description in the Sage #184. It was very good and accurate. I also parked the car directly on the road, thus avoiding a possible fine.
This was one of the more quiet weekends that I have seen in this area. We did not see any cars on the Skidoo road, and only about a half a dozen between Trona and the Skidoo turnoff. The weather was nice with a cool breeze, but the sky was a bit hazy.
I thought that the hike was quite pleasant, and not deserving the bad comments. Although the hike is hard with many ups and downs (both ways), it was interesting, and tine passed quickly.
Adrienne Knute told us about a small cabin which is unofficially maintained by hikers. This cabin is found in the "mile of flat between 5532..." in Dale's writeup. It would be nice to backpack there Sat am, do the peak and spend the night in total solitude, then hike out next day.
Anna and I completed the trip in 8 hours. We were tired, but we thought that Tucki is a nice peak.
There is a restaurant in Trona! I give it three stars. It is a part of The Desert Rose Inn, and is located in the Death Valley end of town. Prices are reasonable. Add this one to our Fine Restaurant List.
On our way back from Death Valley, we decided to visit the Tortoise Reserve near California City. It is a large area fenced off, with a small display and self guided tours. These tours identify various plants and animal habitats and are quite interesting. The sign says that the best time to see the tortoises is spring. I think that it is well, worth the drive out there.
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