After a hot, windy week full of fires & chaos, things finally cooled down a bit & pleasant hiking conditions returned. MM & I came back to an area we'd been to twice before, but just to the west @ Beauty Pk. This time we came to tackle Beauty's eastern neighbor, Iron Spring Mtn. The 1st part of the route is the same -- follow an old rd. that leads to a ducked trail that leads you to a drainage you follow up & over a saddle to a berm w/a rd. on top. But instead of going right for Beauty Pk., one turns left for Iron Spring Mtn. & picks up a path heading east for the peak.
The route hadn't changed much, other than the fact that it seemed to have more ducks. Someone would've been hard pressed to get lost.
More plants were blooming than I expected. & once again we saw a horny toad. Same one?
Headin' up the old rd.
We aimed for the drainage, taking the most direct path as there are a couple that exist before it drops down. Minus a well-intentioned but ill-fated attempt to show me his "bypass", MM & I had smooth sailing up the wash.
We reached the berm & turned left on the rd., looking carefully for the path that would lead us toward the summit...not sure how overgrown it might be since the last report I read. Soon we came across a well-marked junction.
Start of trail that goes left off of the rd.
The trail was in good shape & only required minimal clipping. It made its way up/over/around some false summits, steeply @ times, & then only near the end did the trailbuilder get a little lazy in his/her work. After carefully negotiating some poison oak & other small obstacles, we got to the top.
For the route down, we made one change by doing a bypass of the berm rd., shaving off an unnecessary mile where the route normally parallels itself & doesn't make much sense for anyone using the north trailhead.
Start of the new trail that branches off toward Iron Spring Mtn., bypassing the berm rd.
Like dumbasses we, for the 3rd time, somehow got a little off track when trying to follow the transition from trail to road as the route nears the car. Something about this crucial junction is clear when heading up in the morning, but very indistinguishable when heading out in fading light. Oh well, next time...if there is one.
-------------- Home is where the hiking is.
"Peaks that have come and gone four times should halt a man in his steps." -- William O. Douglas
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