Ascent of Mount Augusta on 2013-05-04

Climber: Daryn Dodge

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, May 4, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Mount Augusta
    Elevation:9966 ft / 3037 m

Ascent Trip Report

Dennis Poulin's drive instructions worked well. I took the turn off Highway 50 at a sign saying "Alpine 3 Miles". I think this refers to a mine off to the left after you pass the first ranch. After 6.9 miles from the turn off Highway 50, the lone juniper tree is there on the right side of the road. The turn onto War Canyon was obvious but unsigned just past the tree.

The first 2-3 miles of this road is pretty good, but then gets quite bumpy. The road eventually climbs onto a ridge and follows a fence. Great views of Mt. Augusta from the ridge. After about 8.8 miles, War Canyon road splits but then comes back together after another 0.2 miles. The "low" road avoids a steep rocky section that is on the "high" road, but I couldn't take the low was blocked by a snow bank. I needed 4WD to drive this short steep section on the high road on my return. Otherwise I only needed high clearance up to this point.

At 9 miles where the roads rejoin, there was a opening in the fence line and a steep dirt road heading straight down into Cherry Valley. I took this road down heading almost directly to a stone cabin at the bottom of the valley. I past through another opening in a fence line at the bottom and crossed a wash on a ridge of dirt. I was now in a somewhat soggy meadow and decided to park here about 200 feet from the stone cabin. My odometer indicated 10 miles exactly from the start of War Canyon road. If I had continued SW across the meadow I would have found a vague connecting road that leads to the main dirt road heading up towards Mt. Augusta. But no matter...I was now only 3.5 miles from Mt. Augusta.

I hiked the dirt road south about 1.5 miles to it's end at the post indicating this was a wilderness study area. I hiked up a wash on it's east side following a cattle trail much of the way to a saddle next to Point 9224 ft. From here I climbed up over occasional snow banks and easy cross-country terrain to the main ridge line about 0.2 miles west of the summit. A short section of class 2 rock leads to the top and the register.

Wonderful views of the Monitor Range and Desatoya Peak from the top. Job Peak was off to the NW. I returned to my Jeep the way I climbed up. Cherry Valley is beautiful in the Spring when the hills are green; it was worth the trip just to see this Valley. The drive back was uneventful, but I did need 4WD to get out of Cherry Valley in the first mile back up to the fence line road.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2516 ft / 766 m
    Extra Gain:75 ft / 22 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route:north approach from Cherry Valley
    Trailhead:Cherry Valley stone cabin  7600 ft / 2316 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 40 Minutes

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