Despite rising steeply above the Mojave Desert, Hart Peak offers two relatively easy ascent routes, although I can only speak of the ascent from the southeast saddle. It's a class 2 climb and an enjoyable one at that. The area reminded me of the beautiful desert landscape of Spirit Mountain 50 km east.
After driving down the oddly named Walking Box Road, Dinah and I parked at a side road west of Hart Peak. The side road appeared promising as it first headed across the desert toward the southeast saddle, but when it doggedly headed south, we exited and started striding across landscape dotted with Joshua trees and flowering yuccas. In a short time, however, we were back on a road, undoubtedly the same meandering road we started up. We hiked up the road to the saddle.
From the saddle, cliffs appeared to bar the way to the top. We climbed well up the mountain before finding the hidden class 2 route: a concave slope extending to the summit. Rife with large rocks and little cliffs, we threaded our way to the top of Hart Peak.
After a short windy, cold stay on the summit, we retraced our steps back down the saddle and down the road. We lopped off a little distance on the flats by hiking back along a wash to the side road.
Hart Peak seen from our start. Note the side road we used.
We followed the road a short way
Behind us are Castle Peaks (mouse over for a close-up)
We left the road and set off across the flats
Mojave yucca with flowers (mouse-over)
Banana yucca with flowers (mouse over)
Back on the road; it led to the saddle on the right
Heading up from the saddle
Beautiful desert landscape
After going over a rise we find cliffs, but we kept right and skirted around them
Looking back across the desert we crossed. New York Peak in the background.
The slope is little more than a steep hike (click for a larger image)
Another flowering yucca (mouse over for a close-up). This is our fifth April that we've climbed
desert peaks yet the first time we've seen these plants bloom.
Ascending the slope below the summit. Saddle is on the left.
Almost at the top
On the summit
Checking out a window on the way down
Hart Peak 1:24,000 Topo (4.2 mi, 5515 ft, 1070 ft)
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