With an elevation gain of only 600 m over 3.2 km, Turtlehead Peak (1928 m) is a quick trip (it took us 2.5 hours) with good views of nearby desert peaks. Beginning at Sandstone Quarry, the trail is wide and well-maintained as it crosses the flats, but once it starts to climb, it becomes narrower, rougher and abraids into a few trails. The trail leads to a saddle and then ascends the backside of Turtlehead. This last section, from saddle to summit, looked easy but took longer than we expected. Although a popular and easy peak to ascend, we saw few people on the trail. But then it was a cool week day.
Starting up the trail, Turtlehead Peak ahead
The good trail doesn't last long.
Looking back down the trail
The route leads to the saddle and then goes up the backside of the mountain.
There are a few trails but we take one on our right.
Interesting terrain near the saddle
Another view across the valley
Ascending from the saddle. La Madre Mountain on the right.
Hiking up the backside we pass an impressive cedar.
The view north of Turtlehead Peak
Calico Hills in the foreground
La Madre Mountain 1:24,000 Topo (4.0 mi, 6306 ft, 1991 ft)