Ship Mountains


By: Barbara Lilley


This San Bernardino County desert mountain range is located south of Cadiz, which is on old Hwy. 66. The highest point, BM Ship, 3229', is a moderate yet challenging hike recommended for DPSers who enjoy exploring and climbing new peaks. It has been climbed by such notables as red Bode, Paul Lipson, Andy Smatko, Wes Shelberg, Mark Adrian, Richard Carey, Gail Hanna and others, as noted below. There are three possible routes:

(1) From the west - courtesy of Dave Jurasavich About 1 0 miles E of Amboy, CA, at the intersection of Hwy 66 and the signed, paved Cadiz Road, drive 4.5 miles SE on the Cadiz Road to a railroad track crossing and the end of pavement. Continue 2.1 miles SE on a very good dirt road to a second railroad track crossing. Passing over the tracks and paralleling them on your left, drivel .7 miles SE to a railroad bridge over a sand wash and park. The peak is visible at a 70 degree bearing from the parking spot. Follow a rough 4WD track about 1.5 miles NE to its end near a small hill. Hike 1.25 miles ENE to a saddle, continuing E and side-hilling down into a large wash. Follow the wash E about 0.6 miles to about the 2200' elevation level, at which point a couple of options exist. The first option is to continue E to a saddle on the ridge, turning left and following the ddge north over an intervening point, then 0.2 miles NE to the summit. The second option is to strike off at a 45 degree bearing to a notch on the skyline just left of a visible rock peak, then NE to the summit. (2500 elevation gain, 7.5 miles. MAP: Cadiz Lake NW 7.5')

(2) From the south - courtesy of John Vitz

From the RR crossing in Cadiz, go SE to a second RR crossing at 2.1 miles. Just before the crossing, turn left and continue SE along the tracks .4 miles to the petroleum pipeline. Turn left (NE) and go along the pipeline road for 2.7 miles to a faint track on the right, just before the white pipe marker (191) on the pipeline. Turn right and go SE 1.2 miles (HCV) to the end of the road at a wash. Hike down across the wash and up the talus fan into the main gully to the south. Follow this gully to the summit ridge and then turn right and go along the ridge to the saddle north of the summit and then up the slopes to the top. The ridge is shorter and easier than it looks. (4 miles, 21 00') (This route was used by Gordon MacLeod and me on 3/28/02.) Some boulders in the canyon but fewer than on Route 3. MAPS- Cadiz Summit 7.5', Cadiz Lake NW 7.5')

(3) From the east- attempted by Gordon and I but due to wrong data programmed into GPS we climbed Pk. 3163' instead!

From Essex go west on Hwy 66 9.3 miles, SE to Danby then south over Skelton Pass 8.8 miles to where a side road goes east and park. Hike west across desert to canyon which heads toward the saddle just north of peak. Unfortunately canyon is full of big tedious boulders. Same maps as for Route 2.

Routes I and 3 are usually passable to passenger cars but beware of sand traps. Route 2 requires high clearance, If you choose Route I or 2 and don't like train noises, bring earplugs! (The starting place for Route 3 provides a more quiet place to camp.)

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