Ascent of San Benito Mountain on 2012-05-20

Climber: Laura Newman

Date:Sunday, May 20, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:San Benito Mountain
    Elevation:5241 ft / 1597 m

Ascent Trip Report

Literally a drive up. But caution should be taken as the road condition was iffy going up and coming down. Going east on Coalinga Rd we took the signed Clearcreek Rd, following all the indicators for the road. I think it was Fr01 or Rr01. As we neared the area where the northern approach comes in from New Idria mine there was a drop off on the road. No way to back up and a narrow pass for a big ol' Expedition. With held breath and a savvy driver we made it safe. A smaller 4WD would have an easier time but not sure how long this road will last if not maintained. From the junction with Idria Rd, no sweat to the top. I have a pic of the car at the top and found J. Barlow's new register. Thought to try to continue on the same road given that it was well graded and dump back on Coalinga Rd but no luck. Locked gate! So back we headed for a northern route entrance/exit per Suttle book. Came to a junction: high vs low road? We took the high road. MISTAKE!!!!!! We made it, but again for a large suv, this was difficult. Take the lower, nicely graded road. This area, despite the asbestos warnings, is frequented by many a ohv motorcycle. Have bike will travel (nicely), otherwise 4WD and moxie essential.
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The tippy top of San Benito (2012-05-20). Photo by Laura Newman.
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