Peak Name: Ghost Mountain
Distance: 2.24 miles
Date: November 30, 2019
Summit: 3,397 feet
The final summit of the day was to be Ghost Mountain. I had hoped to get this peak in after summiting Whale Peak, but that did not happen. I drove down the dirt road to the southern end of Little Blair Valley to the trailhead. As I pulled in, one couple was just finishing their hike, and another car was parked there as well. Given this was Thanksgiving Weekend, I expected some other folks on this trail, at least to the Marshall South Homestead.
Ghost Mountain is higher in the desert than my last two peaks and as the day was getting late, I tossed some of warmer gear back on. I also packed another layer and my cap into my pack. The trail to the homestead is easy to follow and I made good time to it. The other hikers were here mulling about. We chatted some before I headed east toward the summit.
This portion of the hike is like the childhood game of ‘the floor is lava’, but with cacti replacing the lava and rocks in place of the living room furniture. The summit is denoted by a large boulder, so spotting it is relatively easy. While no benchmark is here, there is an old ammo box placed by the Lower Peaks Committee. Someone had moved it to the actual top of the rock, so a small scramble was required to sign the register.
The sun would be setting soon, so again I did not stay too long before working my way back down. The snow on the mountains was certainly a wonderful sight. Back at the car, I packed my gear away and headed toward the Scissors Crossing, stopping at the store in Shelter Valley for a soda and a candy bar. The road was open toward Warner Springs, as I did not want to deal with the insanity that Julian would likely be. I wished Ted was with me, as the snow-capped mountains around Ranchita were equally stunning, but since I was driving I could not get any photos. That was peak #94 of my #100PeakChallenge!
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.