McCoy Mountains


By: Wes Shelberg



The Mc Coy Mountains (Mc Coy Spring Quadrangle, CA, 15-Min) are a long, steep-sided, north-south trending range having the Palen Mtns to the west and the Big Maria Mtns to the east. The high point (VABM 2835) provides views of numerous rugged peaks that invite exploration and climbing, and affords views of Ford Dry Lake (often flooded), Palen Mtns, Little Maria Mtns, Big Maria Mtns and Chuckwalla Mtns.

Jack Grams and I climbed to VABM 2835 and found it rewarding. On a previous climb I found an almost undecipherable record which was reconstructed and entered into a new register as follows: 27 January 1974; John Vitz, Roger Marko, Larry Fink (Sr.), Larry Fink (Jr.), Chuck Quillan, Dana Dumont and Don Dumont.

A climbing route to VABM 2835 is traced on the accompanying topo map. The one-way distance from vehicle to summit as shown by the arrow is about 1.6 miles. The elevation gain is 1875 feet and class 2.

Driving directions: Proceed along Interstate 10 to Wiley's Well Rest Area (which is about 15 miles west of Blythe, see AAA Riverside County Map). Then use the road sketch below to reach the road head from Wiley's Well Rest Area. Four-wheel drive is required for some sandy places and rocky wash crossings. (Or walk)

Incidentally, the only named peak on the Mc Coy Spring Quadrangle (Mc Coy Peak, VABM 2054, see accompanying topo) requires some rock climbing. I backed-off near the summit recently during a solo attempt because of the unexpected ruggedness encountered from any direction.

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