Chuckwalla Mountains, Orocopia Mountains


By: Bill T. Russell


This trip was originally scheduled for 8, 9 January but was rescheduled because of forecasted rain and snow. Eight people met at the intersection of the Graham Pass road and Chuckwalla road on Saturday. We drove through Graham Pass to the bend in the road in the NW corner of section 2. Here we took a mine road to the NW for about 1-1/2 miles to the area west of point 2136 on the topo. Our climbing route was the south ridge of Chuckwalla and we descended via the SW gully. This gully or the SW ridge is probably the better route.

We then drove to the dirt road in section 13 that leads south to Orocopia. The road disappears in the washes after about 2 miles, but we followed some tracks in the washes to a point about 1/2 mile into section 36 and near its eastern edge. By then it was too late to climb the peak, so we had a leisurely climb of a nearby high point. Sunday morning we went on a beeline for the peak, a route which entailed some ups and downs in gully crossing, and reached the summit in a little over 2 hours. We descended via the canyon and blue line wash, which starts about 400 meters north of the peak. This is the route described by Roy Ward in the Desert Sage Nr 132. One cannot see much from the bottom of the gully, but it is an easy and pleasant route.

John Backus was the scheduled assistant. He could not make the reschedule, and Walton Kabler ably filled that position. We had beaucoup mosquitoes Saturday night, but otherwise the trip was fine.

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