Big Maria Mountains, Palen Mountains


By: John Backus


Unfortunately, we picked a hot weekend for this climb. About a dozen-and-a-half people met at the power line crossing on the Midland road above Blythe, We then caravaned along the power line road to pole #45-l to start hiking. The route is up a large wash into a canyon, up the left fork of this canyon to the saddle between the north and south summits, then along the ridge to the north peak. The temperature was into the 90's, but everyone made the peak.

The next task was to find the roadhead for Palen Mtn. After considerable discussion, consulting of maps, etc., we found the proper road and drove in as far as we felt advisable, where we camped. Sunday morning we started early (remembering the heat of the day before) and drove a couple of miles further, in the more fearless vehicles, to the point where further driving became obviously impossible. The route from here was up the main canyon to the west, then up a side canyon just east of the peak almost to a saddle, then up the ridge to the peak. We reached the peak about 11:00 am. Until now the heat was bearable, as there was considerable shade in the canyon, but on the way down the shade had gone and it was even hotter than the day before. Everyone was very happy to get back to the cars and cold drinks by mid-afternoon, to prepare for the drive home.

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

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