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Ascent of Caliente Mountain on 2001-05-05

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Saturday, May 5, 2001
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Caliente Mountain
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:5106 ft / 1556 m

Ascent Trip Report

The Caliente Range and surrounding area are part of the Carrizo Plain Natural Area administered by the BLM. The road to Shelby Camp and the ridge top may be closed in winter months. For information about roads and the area contact the BLM office in Bakersfield at: (661) 391-6000.

From Interstate 5 north of Grapevine take route 166 west to Maricopa. From there continue west on 166 for 9.1 miles and turn right onto Soda Lake Road. From this turn note the following points: at 2.1 miles there is a cattleguard and the San Luis Obispo line, at 2.7 miles is an information kiosk about the Carrizo Plain area, the pavement ends and starts up again for several stretches and at 24.0 miles there is a three-way fork where you should take the center fork. Finally at 29.0 miles there is a sign for the Shelby Camp/Caliente Ridge on the left at a junction. Turn left here through a seasonal gate and reset your odometer. At 3.8 miles turn right at the old Shelby ranch and continue up the steep road until you reach a parking area at 7.0 miles. The hike starts from here where there is a locked gate on the old road to the summit. The hike is 8.6 miles one-way to the peak with a gain of about 2100 feet. Due to many dips the return hike will have about 900 feet of gain. At least five miles of the road can be done on a mountain bike. The last two miles to the summit is rough and sandy in spots and I found it easier to walk. If hiking allow about 3 1/2 hours each way. Using a mountain bike the round-trip can be done in about five hours. This trip is best done in spring or fall to avoid the very hot weather in the area. 5/01 RLC
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