Ascent of Morena Butte on 2013-04-13

Climber: Jim Wick

Others in Party:Larry Edmonds -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Paul Freiman
Phil & Jill Rogul
Neal Matthys
Susan Watson
Susan Smith & sister
Young Lee
Nelson Peackock
Debbie Werner
Carol Jean
Jim Leckie
Mark Sutton
Sean Sutton &
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, April 13, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Morena Butte
    Elevation:3920 ft / 1194 m

Ascent Trip Report

Group hike led by Larry Edmonds & Paul Freiman. Parked at the dirt parking lot just outside the Lake Morena County Park entrance which is also at the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) TH. Original plan was to start on the PCT to ascend Morena Butte and come down by the Morena Dam then back to the cars along the lake. Last minute decision to reverse the plan which was a perfect way to complete this trek as most of the ascent/work for the day is done early both in terms of distance and time of day. Started walking at 8am thru the Lake Morena County Park road heading towards the Dam. About a half mile before the dam, the trail begins on the left side of the road which is marked by a very large arrow on the ground made out of rocks. After a quarter mile there is an alternate route up (on the left) which was hard to notice except for a blue and orange streamers in the brush. Apparently this alternate route is not as steep as the dam route. I recommend the dam route due to easier trail to follow as well as better view points for pictures. Once above the dam, which is approximately 2.75 miles from the start, the hardwork for the day begins quickly. The trail scramble goes up which occasionally follows old 4 inch iron cables leftover from when the dam was constructed. 600+ feet elevation gain over the next mile. Half way up this gain the alternate route up mentioned earlier joins the trail which again was hard to spot except for the colored streamers in the brush. The trail we were on was easy to follow via path; and rock "ducks" or cairns when traversing rock slabs. There are basically four main high points to the Morena butte (northwest HP, west HP, east HP, south & true HP); which is easy to see on a topo map. Once reaching the Northwest HP, we bushwacked our way to the west HP; but following the trail would have been easier. The trail comes to a four-way intersection which leads to each of the HPs. The Northwest HP was our first stop. Make sure to find the plaque that is along the flat-top rock as well as get your picture sitting/standing on the rock. great views south and west. Followed the trail back to the mentioned intersection (going east/straight) to our next stop at the East HP. This viewpoint has the best views of the lake as well as large rock features. After lunch, we headed west/back to the trail intersection and turned left/south to go to the true HP. Note the trail will continue down to the PCT so make sure not to miss the rock "ducks"/cairns up the slabs to the true HP. Signed the register which is atop the highest flat rock. There are two ways down from the true HP heading south to the PCT (one via the west side of the HP which is easier, one to the east side of the HP which I'm told is much steeper). We took the west side of the HP descent which is an easy trail to follow southernly all the way along broad ridges until it intersects with the PCT. We hiked the PCT back to the TH where our cars were parked. Great hike. There is very little shade on this hike so make sure to have plenty of water and sunscreen.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3867 ft / 1178 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3867 ft / 1178 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.4 mi / 13.5 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
nice day, clear temps in mid to high 70s
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2363 ft / 720 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 859 ft / 262 m; Extra: 1504 ft / 458m
    Loss on way in:1504 ft / 458 m
    Distance:4.3 mi / 6.9 km
    Route:via morena dam
    Start Trailhead:PCT TH just outside Lake Morena County Park  3061 ft / 932 m
    Time:3 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2363 ft / 720 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 859 ft / 262 m; Extra: 1504 ft / 458m
    Gain on way out:1504 ft / 458 m
    Distance:4.1 mi / 6.6 km
    Route:via PCT
    End Trailhead:PCT TH just outside Lake Morena County Park  3061 ft / 932 m
    Time:2 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Jim Wick
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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