Bonny & White Benchmarks

With the weather starting to turn, it was time to start thinking about my remaining peaks in the desert. While the true desert was still a tad warm still, the weather for the peaks near Ranchita was nice enough for them to be attempted. My feet were still a tad sore from the summiting of Sheephead Mountain and Manza Benchmark yesterday, so I did not feel like hiking out to Wilson Benchmark. Instead, I opted to do White Benchmark and Bonny Benchmark.

After making breakfast at home, I pulled into the familiar turnout for this hike just past the Anza-Borrego State Park sign. Grabbing my gear and applying a good application of sunscreen, I set off across the desert floor. The first peak I wanted to summit was White Benchmark about 2 miles away and some 1,000 or so feet of elevation to be gained. Although I passed by Bonny, I wanted to summit it on the return route.

I followed the faint use trails, dodging the pointy pain planets along the way, toward the summit of White Benchmark. The breeze kept any bugs away and made the temperature perfect. Soon the summit lay before me. I scrambled up the summit block and was again rewarded with a tremendous view of Anza-Borrego to the east. I don’t think there is a register here, just the benchmark.

After a brief break, I began my descent, however, two other peaks were on the agenda; Bonny and Clyde. Following the ridgeline down from White, I began working my way to Bonny, but first up was Clyde. While not on any list, I felt I had to do the pair. Actually, it is basically on the route down from White, so it is not a problem. I scrambled a good way up the summit but did not climb the final portion since I was out here solo.

From there I made my way toward Bonny. Once I reached the peak, I worked my way along the south side until I reached the ledge on the west face. I carefully worked way along with it until I reached the summit again. There are two marks here, along with a register.

After a quick break, I carefully headed back down from the summit. Unlike my last two times to the peak, I opted not to go visit Hut Benchmark. Instead, I angled across along the desert floor following more faint use trails until I returned to the car. With that, peaks #75 and #76 were done!


I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea-kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest. 

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