Turtle Mountains


By: Bill Banks


Many factors are responsible for the low number of DPSers who successfully find much less climb Turtle Mountain. The elevation is incorrectly listed on the DPS list. Secondly, the road and mileage is incorrectly shown on the San Bernardino County Auto Club Map. Finally, the topo is incorrect in its presentation of the location of the road terminus.

Two good DPSers recently climbed Horn Peak (3,866-ft.) as a result and I imagine many others have made similar errors.

After climbing Whipple with the DPS Trip group I drove alone to the starting point of Turtle Mountain Saturday night. Although soaked by wind driven rains on Saturday, Sunday dawned clear. I followed a wash in a west-northwesterly direction. You should remain low crossing numerous washes until almost directly below the main east-southeast ridge leading to the summit ridge. The summit is visible at all times. Two and one-half hours should put anyone on the summit.

Only one Section scheduled trip has ever, been led there. And only three other climbers have reached the summit since its addition to the DPS list in 1965. The view of Castle Rock and Mopah from this summit is thrilling and unique. January and February are the best months for this climb. Nearly out to the main highway I gave directions to the remnants of the Mopah climb and I understand four of them made it this day, two of whom had mistakenly climbed Horn a week earlier.

Detailed information for visiting one or more peaks mentioned in this article can be found in the
Desert Peak Section Road and Peak Guides

DPS Archives Index | Desert Peaks Section