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Ascent of Scarper Peak on 2021-03-06

Climber: Edward Rice

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, March 6, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Scarper Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:1944 ft / 592 m

Ascent Trip Report

I parked at the end of Coral Reef Ave. as others have recommended. Sure enough, there's a nice little trailhead with plenty of parking there. There are signs notifying you that you're entering NPS land (Golden Gate National Recreation Area). There is a confusingly large number of paths going uphill from there, none of them signed. After climbing the first little incline on one of them, I realized it was not quite the one I wanted to be on based on my CalTopo map, and had to bushwhack a little to get onto the correct one. It might have ended up in the same place, though. The trail network is definitely a little bit confusing and completely unsigned, so I echo previous reports that recommend having a GPS. Most of the trails didn't really seem maintained, with a lot of bad rutting, and it was sometimes hard to tell if I was on a use trail or an "official" trail, or even if there were any official trails at all. No complaints, though — I'm delighted that the National Park Service bought this piece of land and has it open to the public already.

After a climb, fairly steep in places, through lots of coastal scrub, I ended up atop Peak 1276, on which there are two posts that look like they may have previously been a gate; there is a pair of crossed bones tied to one, and a sign on the other marking the GGNRA boundary. I'm not sure who owns or maintains the land on the other side, but there were no signs and lots of other hikers on the maintained dirt road that the trail ended at. The road winds around the Locks Creek and Frenchmans Creek drainages, climbing gently the whole time. It goes past an abandoned building of some sort that is clearly visible all the way back from Peak 1276. It's odd as there are no other buildings anywhere near it, and it looks too fancy to be a barn or toolshed but too small to be a house. The road continues into a nice shady Doug-fir forest and through a locked gate with No Trespassing signs on it. Confoundingly, there are No Trespassing signs on both sides of the gate, so it's unclear which side you're not supposed to be on! In any case, the road stops looking maintained after the gate and becomes a little bit overgrown, and there's certainly nobody around to be bothered. From there, it's a short way to an intersection with a paved road up the last little way to the summit.

The summit is pretty boring, fenced in with an FAA installation and no views. The hike was lovely, though, and the views during pretty much the entire rest of the trip there and back are stunning. I'd have happily skipped the peak itself if I weren't so intent on bagging the P1000.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2573 ft / 783 m
    Extra Gain:367 ft / 111 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10.2 mi / 16.4 km
    Trailhead:Coral Reef Ave.  105 ft / 32 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 3 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 43 Minutes



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