Marble Mountains, Old Dad Mountain


By: Andy Smatko


While the LA area was pelted by rain over this weekend 17 Desert Pk lovers enjoyed a comfortably warm two days in the Amboy area.

From a locus on the road to the west of the high point of the Marble Mtns, we all headed for what appeared to be the high point in this most colorful range. On achieving the summit the all-to-obvious high point of the range lay 1-1/2 miles E by SE. In lees than an hour all 17 basked on the true summit of the range. Various hued volcanic extrusions made the rugged canyon a wondrous sight and the group headed down a different route. Camp was made at "Windy Corner" near the SW end of the Bristol Range and a tire fire kept tongues wagging 'til 10 o'clock. Claude Karami at 10 years, was the youngest member of the party. Next day the cars caravaned along a fairly good dirt road which degenerated to a poor one at the base of some mtns to the west. Somewhere we missed the proper turnoff and upon retracing our route a mile or so Arky Erb located the correct turnoff and we assembled at the head at a wide wash extending downwards to the NW. The high point of the 0ld Dads was clearly visible about l-1/2 mi away as a rounded, mesa-like mtn. After descending about 300 ft, 17 peakers climbed the E side of the peak-class 1 mostly. This time in addition to Claude, we had two smaller fry, ages 7 & 8. The weather again was cool but comfortable. A fairly large cairn was on the summit of Old Dad -volcanic in nature. From here, looking to the NW, all sorts of other desert ranges were visible.

After returning to the cars and on to Amboy, several of the parties climbed Amboy Crater before returning to the metropolitan area.

In comparing the two ranges, the Marble Mtns were by far the more colorful and intriguing in their formations. There are many unexplored Desert Ranges in San Bernardino County, and it is hoped that such exploratory trips will be continued in the years to come. The two previously scheduled trips to the Turtle Mtns, the Iron Mtns, the Carriso & Jacumba Mtns also pointed the way to many spectacular Desert Ranges within relatively easy driving From Los Angeles. There are over sixty separate Desert Ranges in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties and this would provide the DPS ample opportunity to explore over a wide area.

(ed. note -this trip to Old Dad Mtns is not to be confused with Old Dad Mtn which lies SE of Baker, Calif.)

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Desert Peak Section Road and Peak Guides

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