By: Gabriele Rau
2 1/2 m 900’ gain
We started early and arrived at Lake Perris before 8 AM. We parked at 11/12, none of the Ranger Personnel we asked knew where Mt. Russell is. We headed north, past a group campground, road, to an open dirt staging area (gate was open, parking possible) with a sign. There it said ‘Hunters Trail’ and hunting rules were posted on the sign. This road led to a horse trail, we took it east or right and followed it. We could see Mt. Russell with a telephone post on the side, near the peak. After 3 marked horsetrail posts we turned to the left cross country (white metal post and a very small ditch) and headed to the canyon between the two hills. Mt. Russell cannot be seen from here. We hiked up the left side of the canyon, but it is easier to go directly to the mouth of the canyon with 2 huge rocks, go on the left side of the left rock. Now it is climbing between rocks. It had rained and everything was wet, we got wet by walking through the tall weeds, mustard and many flowers. On the right side one can see 2 telephone poles. I think it is easier to stay close to the canyon. A good way up one can see a burnt telephone pole on the right. Somehow go directly to this pole, keep right and go up to a ridge. Sometimes one can see an old trail, built for the poles, mainly rocks placed in a line to simulate a trail. Follow this way up to the peak. There is a large flat rock to sit on, the benchmark has been pried off and I left a can. The hike down was easier, because we had come up more on the left side, Mark even tried to climb the west side, but the east side is much better and doable. This hike is quite brushy and it is not easy to find a way between rocks and brush. The view is excellent. The sun came out and dried my soaked pants, but everything had black fire marks and there a lots and lots of stickers (socks, shoes and pants).
We started at 7:50 and were down at 11:50, 4 hours with 2 rests.
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