This guide is based on a Sage article by Richard L. Carey.
Topo Map: Arch Tank, 1990 7½, Castle Dome 15
Trip Stats: 8.5 mi., 1600' gain, 7hrs.
From highway 95 at Stone Cabin drive east on King Road for 6.2 miles and turn right (south) at junction 60. Drive south for 4.9 miles and park at a cairn on the right side. The No Vehicles sign is about 100 feet back from the road. Plenty of camping space here. This road has a few sandy washes, but most highclearance vehicles should make it.
Hike west on the road into Virgin Basin. Go through the low saddle in hills (UTM 763730E, 3673400N) or else go around the south end. Continue across the basin to hills at UTM 761500E, 3773900N. Go to the right side of the bump in front of BM Clifty to the saddle at UTM 760330E, 3674080N. Climb up the chute to a bench on the south side of the rock face. Then, proceed north and scramble over easy rock ribs on the west side. Climb an easy chute to the high saddle on the ridge. Then, proceed north, climbing up on a broken ledge and move left past a small agave and around an exposed comer with good hand holds. Another easy chute leads to the ridge top, then traverse a short distance to the summit.
What a fine peak this was we thought with its small exposed summit area! Clifty was an appropriate name for there was no other way up due to sheer cliffs on the other sides. The last climbers in the register were Barbara Lilley and Gordon MacLeod in December 1989. The first ascenders since the USGS were John Vitz, Barb Fink, and Dick Sheets in February 1982. No other climbers noted. The benchmark was placed in 1933.
February 9, 2012
| Desert Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
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February 8, 2012