Fracture Ridge may be low on excitement and short on features, but it's a pleasant hike that requires little study. A trail leads nearly all the way to the summit although one must pay close attention to the many junctions.
Dinah and I followed Jim Boone's route. The description worked well until we reached the saddle (waypoint 9). We were puzzled to find that the trail turned south away from the summit. We hiked north cross-country for a short distance before coming across the ridge trail going to the summit. On the summit we found expansive views in all directions except north where Black Mountain rises above Fracture Ridge.
On our descent we found where the ridge trail meets the main trail. The junction is obscured but there's a reason for that. After emailing Jim Boone I learned that BLM doesn't want anyone to use the trail going up to the ridge. On our descent we should have retraced our ascent track back to the saddle even though it meant meant going off trail (Jim Boone has since rewritten the route description for that section).
On our way back, we took the alternative descent. While less scenic than the suggested approach, it is shorter. Fracture Ridge may not stand out against many other desert peaks, but we still enjoyed our outing.
Hiking along the retention basin. Black Mountain left and Fracture Ridge right.
On Black Mountain Trail
A side trail leads to Fracture Ridge
The trail drops down and ascends the ridge ahead
We missed the side trail going to the summit and ended up on a saddle
After leaving the main trail at the saddle we hiked cross-country
Volcanic rocks litter the slopes although this one appeared scary!
Back on track
The way becomes more rocky as we neared the summit
Blue Diamond Cholla
Looking back along the ridge
On the summit
Heading back on the descent trail
Sloan NE 1:24,000 Topo (6.5 mi, 4908 ft, 1909 ft)
U.S. Trips | Home