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Ascent of Yuba County High Point on 2012-05-13

Climber: Daryn Dodge

Date:Sunday, May 13, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Yuba County High Point
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:4825 ft / 1470 m

Ascent Trip Report

Thought I was going to have too easy of a day hiking to the high point of Yuba County. The book said it would be less than a mile round trip. I was sadly mistaken. Following the Ken Jones' great 2003 drive directions to the high point, I started seeing old "Road Closed" signs just after turning right onto the rough paved road 1.5 miles past the Strawberry Valley fire station. All seasonal gates were open so I kept heading down towards Slate Creek with a feeling of dread. I got to within 0.5 mile of the bridge across Slate Creek when I got to the road washout. About a 70-foot section of the road had sunk 20 feet.

No way to get a car across. This was the end of the road. For cars at least. But only a class 2 crossing of the washout area on foot. I figured out how far it would be on foot from here to the highpoint(13 miles round trip) and decided to just go for the HP. No sense turning around and leaving after the 2+ hr drive to get here.

Ken Jones instructions on getting to the "hike" portion of the HP worked well. Found my way without need for a car odometer. All signage is still there; few people have gone this way since the washout. Hiking on paved and dirt roads for hours can get monotonous. However, there was no other cars or people and the shaded hike through the forest was pleasant. Kind a wished a had brought my mountain bike though. Could have lugged it across the washout area.

When I finally got to the last 0.2 miles of the hike, I found the old jeep road that goes steeply up to the HP. It is pretty overgrown and not much of a road anymore. At the HP, there was a tree stump about 6 feet to the left of the jeep road with a bunch of sticks leaning against it. I guess this signified the HP of Yuba County. No pine cone cairn or register anywhere in site that is mentioned in old trip reports. Ken Jones' 2003 report says there a cement block with a register at the actual summit of the hill to the right of the jeep road. Found the cement block, but no register.

About a mile back down the road a guy in a pickup drove up. The only other person I saw all day. He told me the road had washed out in 2010 and the county has no plans to fix it. People will now have to drive here via a longer route from the other direction. So it is possible to drive to the original starting point of the hike. I didn't bother at this point to try and figure it out on a map. I assume Gary Suttle's County HP website will have those instructions some day. By the way, I should have checked his website because the most recent reports noted that the road had indeed washed out in 2010. And before that, in 2007. Which seems to be why the county has given up on fixing the easy drive route to the Yuba HP.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1925 ft / 585 m
    Elevation Loss:1925 ft / 585 m
    Distance:13 mi / 20.9 km
    Grade/Class:class 1-2
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1525 ft / 464 m
    Extra Loss:400 ft / 121 m
    Distance:6.5 mi / 10.5 km
    Route:Road from Slate Creek washout
    Trailhead:Slate Creek road washout  3700 ft / 1127 m
    Time Up:2 Hours 10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:1525 ft / 464 m
    Extra Gain:400 ft / 121 m
    Distance:6.5 mi / 10.5 km
    Trailhead:Slate Creek road washout  3700 ft / 1127 m
    Time Down:2 Hours 20 Minutes



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