Going by the number of trip reports I found on the Internet (one), Mesquite Mountain isn't a sought-after objective even though it appears in Andy Zdon's popular book, Desert Summits. But the route is simple enough: cross six kilometres of desert flats to reach the base of the mountain, and then hike up. To ease our way across the flats, Shin worked out a route that took advantage of washes. Sonny, Dinah and I followed him as we headed to the mountain.
The approach held a variety of desert vegetation, pleasing to look at but sometimes too dense to easily push through. We all suffered from a few stabs and scratches from needles and thorns. But we delighted in seeing several rabbits. Startled, they quickly disappeared.
Eventually we reached a spur that extends to a col connected to the summit ridge. Sonny climbed all the way up the spur while the rest of us broke off to traverse to the col. At the col we were treated to the sight of a desert bighorn.
After gaining the ridge, we followed it to the summit. The summit, however, requires a bit of scrambling. The easiest way is up the backside. Shin, Dinah and I dropped down and crossed a ledge below the summit, before scrambling up. Sonny tackled the ridge crest and soon joined us on top of Mesquite Mountain. The views weren't outstanding, yet it was a satisfying climb. But we still faced a long march back across the flats where cactus needles and catclaw thorns awaited us.
Mesquite Mountain appears above Dinah
Soon after starting out we dropped into our first wash
Back on the flats
We dropped into a major wash that took us to the base of the mountain
The summit is on the left (click for a larger image)
We followed the spur until we could traverse to the col (click for a larger image)
It's a straightforward hike up the spur
Looking back across the flats (click for a larger image)
We'll soon traverse to the col on our left
Almost at the col where we'll ascend the ridge
We spotted a bighorn sheep above us (click for a larger image)
Shin and Dinah head to the summit ridge while Sonny tags a high point. Clark Mountain
dominates the background (click for a larger image)
The summit is still some distance away
The dark rock is the summit. Sonny scrambled up the white rock, while the rest of us dropped
down, passed under the summit and then scrambled up.
Dinah scrambles up the backside of the summit
On the summit
Devil Peak lies east
Kingston Peak is west
After scrambling back down, Dinah takes a parting shot of us guys on the summit (mouse over)
Mesquite Mountains 1:24,000 Topo (10.3 mi, 5161 ft, 1647 ft)
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