McCullough Mountain, Mount Tipton


By: Gordon McLeod


DPSers in seven cars met at the junction of Interstate Highway 15 (to Las Vegas) and Highway 68 (to Tipton and Searchlight) for the long caravan to the roadhead at Pine Spring, which lies four hiking miles southwest of McCullough Mtn. Pine Spring (5450') was reached (see McCullough Mtn., Nev., Quadrangle) by leaving Highway 68 at the pass between the McCullough Range and the New York Mountain Range (at BM4897), following the power-line road for about six miles to the northeast, and then proceeding westward five miles to Pine Spring. Two American-type sedans made it to the Spring, although the road is poor after leaving the power-line road. We wisely left a low-slung MG at the pass. All 15 participants made the pleasant, leisurely round-trip hike to McCullough (7026') in six hours via a loop route which took us over Peak 6557 whence to the McCullough and back via the more direct route to east of Peak 6425.

After caravanning out to the Highway 68, the group agreed to meet after dinner that evening at 9:00 pm at the intersection Of Highway 93 (to Las Vegas) and the Pierce Ferry road, which lies 25 miles north of the junction of Highway 68 and Highway 93. (The MG, however, returned to Los Angeles.) We camped in the outskirts of a housing development near Dolan Springs.

The next morning the group caravanned to the road head at the Lower Spring, which lies four hiking miles to the northwest of Tipton Mtn. (71XX; see new Tipton Mtn., Ariz., 7-1/2 Minute Series Quadrangle). We took 5th Street (which lies about a mile east along the Pierce Ferry Road from Highway 93) its entire straight-line length to a wire fence, whence left for a tenth of a mile, then east through a gate for a rough mile or two to the Spring. Graham Stephenson in a new Dodge Charger made it another 500' elevation gain along the road, while Bob Herlihy in Fred Bode's VW bus settled for only a 100' gain.

Our route followed-up the road to a point where the road makes a bend to the north (about 42XX'); thence directly toward the mountain in a southeasterly direction to a steep northwest ridge which intersects the north slope and ridge of the mountain within half-a-mile of the summit. (There are two northwesterly ridges coming down from the summit, we took the steeper, more westerly of the two.) Although steep in many places, we were able to follow a Class 2 route. (There was some brush which we were generally able to avoid.) After a leisurely lunch on top, we followed the West ridge down to a broad saddle, whence northwesterly down a shallow, sandy wash to the road and cars.

The trip time including summit time was about six hours. All twelve summit climbers including many long-time DPSers: Sam Fink, Fred Bode, Bob Bear, Graham Stephenson, Bob Herlihy, Fran and Steve Smith and the leaders, were agreed that Tipton was a splendid-addition to the DPS list. Tipton is unusual in that the gentle upper north slope of the mountain is covered with a miniature but beautiful forest of Ponderosa Pines, a remnant left over from the last Ice Age.

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