McKinley Mountain


By: Gabriele Rau

We drove early from Irvine to Hwy. 330 to the mileage marker mentioned in the write-up. We parked in a turnout before this marker. The closed ranger station is farther up the road! We hiked across the road and saw the fire break behind some boulders. There was had been a very recent fire, everything was burnt, but the good thing: no brush fighting! The firebreak was very steep. On the ridge to the right we saw a trail, but it was just as steep at the firebreak we were on. This trail met our break at a cut bank, where the break, nearly a road, turns left and is nearly flat for a couple hundred yards. Then turn sharply right and start again climbing! Here the fire had stopped, but hardly any brush on the break. We ended up on a grassy slope with some wooden red-tagged stakes, probably used as a helicopter-landing site. From here we could see the rusty yellow triangle on the peak, slightly to the right. A use trail was leading past some tress and brushes (open) to this high spot. We built a cairn and left a peak can there.

The peak to the left is higher, but not marked on the map. This is the peak! It was a very hot day, it took us 2 hours to get up there, and we were down at 10:30AM. This is a very steep 1 mile, 1500 gain hike!

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