Ascent of Leeds Benchmark on 2020-01-28

Climber: Rebecca Peterson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Leeds Benchmark
    Elevation:5185 ft / 1580 m

Ascent Trip Report

Week 137 peak 137(+)Leeds Benchmark in Washington county. It was a beautiful hike, but definitely a bushwhack. This hike starts out off of a nice dirt road, Forest road 031, west of Silver Reef, by Leeds. I parked at a turnout near the top of an overlook, hiked down the road and around a switchback for a quarter mile before heading up the mountain. I realized that I could have parked down at the bottom of the switchback and just started from there. Once you get to the bottom switchback where the road starts to head SW, you will see a drainage on the left. Start heading generally south southwest picking your path through the least obstructed way you can find. I found that by staying higher on the ridge, it was a little less bushy- though there is still considerable brush, no matter which way you go. On the way up I stayed a bit lower on the ridge, on the way back I followed the ridge all the way back to the drainage to the point where I came down and headed north to get back to the road and my car. There is no trail- you are routefinding the whole way. You will be climbing and hiking over rocks, but it really isn't anything too bad. Some class 2, but even that could be mostly avoided if you desired. There are a few sections on the ridge where you could find some class 3 scrambling if you wanted to.

The details:
Distance: about 5 to 7 miles roundtrip depending on your route.
Elevation gain: approximately 800 feet - but there will also be ups and downs as you go over hills and traverse drainages depending on the route you choose.

Dog friendly?
Yes, except that there are a lot of cacti and pokey plants. Kenobi wasn't with me, and I'm not sure that I would take him without shoes to protect his pads.

Kid friendly?
I'd have to say no, unless they are older children who like to scramble and don't mind bushwhacking.

Arthritis/knee replacement ibuprofen rating:
I'd give this one a 3.5 on a 1 to 5 scale just because there were so many rocks/boulders to go up, over, and around, and because there is absolutely no trail that I ever came across, so the terrain was a bit rough on the knees. But, despite that, it was still enjoyable.

Bottom line- would I do it again?
Probably. The view from the top was very pretty. However, with so many other options that are less bushy, I'd probably go with those first.

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The terrain - some brush and rock (2020-01-28). Photo by Rebecca Peterson.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1400 ft / 426 m
    Extra Gain:300 ft / 91 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Trailhead:4385 ft / 1336 m
    Grade/Class:some sections easy c
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes

Other Photos

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
View to the north toward Signal Peak (2020-01-28). Photo by Rebecca Peterson.
Click here for larger-size photo.

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