SierraClub Logo View of crest of Sweetwater Ranger in eastern California fro Mount Patterson

Home Page

Peaks Off The
Beaten Path Index

This peak guide is presented for the convenience of our visitors.
Neither the Desert Peaks Section or the Sierra Club guarantees the accuracy of this document. Use at Your Own Risk!

No. 59 Teutonia Peak (5,755') California

This guide is based on a Sage article by Bob Michael

Topo Map: Cima Dome 7½
Coordinates: Lat 35 17 59 Lon 115 33 47
Trip Stats: unknown


The trail to Teutonia starts at a well-marked parking area near the gentle summit of the paved road between I-15 and Cima.


The excellent trail, at times following a long-abandoned road, heads gently uphill through possibly the most splendid climax Joshua forest of all; the high desert doesn't get any better than this. After 1-1/2 gentle miles ascending the Dome, the trail arrives at the northeast flank of the Peak. The trail switchbacks up the side, crosses the summit ridge to the west side of the peak and heads south towards the high point, where it evaporates among huge slabs and boulders. I managed to get within 20-25 vertical feet of the apparent summit when I was stopped by unquestionable 5th class.


One of the finest short hikes the desert has to offer takes you up the northeast flank of Cima Dome to almost the granite picacho summit of Teutonia Peak, a crag perched incongruously on this otherwise amazingly gentle, smooth and regular landform.

Cima Dome, although hardly spectacular or even readily noticeable is one of the most extraordinary landforms in the desert. The map shows circular, gentle, evenly spaced contours making a bull's eye pattern in a landscape built basically out of randomness. Although geoniorphologists (geologists who try to explain landforms) have long debated its origins, the most likely explanation seems to be the long undisturbed weathering of a roughly circular, remarkably uniform body of granite uniquely susceptible to suberial "crumbling". Teutonia Peak and some associated boulder piles, making up a northwest-southeast- striking linear feature on the northeast flank of the Dome, is the only anomaly in this big picture. Perhaps due to a slight variation in rock chemistry in this one zone of the granite body - maybe an increase in silica content - the granite that comprises Teutonia Peak is resistant to crumbling, and instead weathers into the Joshua Tree-style blocks and crags that we commonly associate with desert granitic terrain.

Sierra Club Angeles Chapter Hundred Peaks Lower Peaks Sierra Peaks Ski Mountaineers
Desert Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
© Copyright 1998-2012 - All Rights Reserved
Updated: February 9, 2012