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Ascent of Park Ridge Lookout on 2014-06-15

Climber: Jason Reed

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, June 15, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Park Ridge Lookout
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:7520 ft / 2292 m

Ascent Trip Report

After running a Father's Day race in Fresno I headed east to visit Kings Canyon National Park for the first time. The drive is very straightforward - just follow CA-180 east a little more than 50 miles out of Fresno. I set out to get to Panoramic Point first. The peak was to the northeast and I could have taken Panoramic Road there. I had a map that showed a trail more or less parallel with the road, north of Panoramic but south of CA-180. I attempted to follow the trail but had a difficult time finding out how it existed a campground I went through and ended up off-trail in the woods. The terrain wasn't too tough so I kept moving the direction I was headed and eventually got to a trail where I was able to figure out where I was and get back on track. At the "summit" of Panoramic Point the road dead-ended into a parking lot and there were numerous informational signs. It looks like most people drive up. My indirect route was 3.38 miles.

From there I followed a trail south along the ridge to the high point on the ridge. This was not previously listed on Peakbagger so I added it with the name Park Ridge. Park Ridge is higher and more prominent than either of the named peaks on the same ridge (Panoramic Point and Park Ridge Lookout). It was only 0.97 miles to Park Ridge and the summit was just off of the main trail to the right (west). The views were better at Panoramic and along the trail leading up to it because the summit was more tree covered.

I continued south for 2.11 miles toward Park Ridge Lookout. About half way there, there was a 4 way intersection. A hard right (northwest) would lead back to Grant Village. Both straight-ish trails lead to Park Ridge Lookout and they form a loop. I took the left (eastern) route there and came back on the other. There is a clearing at the lookout with a fire tower that was locked, probably because it was after 4PM. I took some pictures and headed back 2.77 miles to my car.

NOTES:
Panoramic Peak (PP) and Park Ridge Summit (PRS) existed as peaks on peakbagger.com before I visited them. Park Ridge (PR) which lies between them did not exist so I added it. Neither PP nor PRS have more than ~40 feet of prominence. The NHNs for both are no farther than a quarter mile (in both case, in the direction of PR). I added PR because it is ~240 feet higher than each of the others and they are all on the same ridge. PR has a prominence of at least 800 feet and its NHN appears to be around Rabbit Meadow which is about 4 miles ESE.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
1. PR should be updated from a (prov) peak to a "real" peak.
2. PP should definitely be downgraded from being a peak. It has has 0 prominence and it's not on any boundary that would justify making a distinction for it.
2. PRS should be downgraded from being a named peak. It's basically a knoll on the ridge - a ridge with at least 6 such knolls. In a park where mountains rise thousands of feet, a 40 foot knoll isn't worth of distinction.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:504 ft / 152 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1640 ft / 499 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.9 mi / 7.9 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm
Descent (To Destination) Statistics
    Gain on way in:413 ft / 125 m
    Loss on way in:653 ft / 199 m
    Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    Start Trailhead:Park Ridge  7760 ft / 2365 m
    Time:26 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:987 ft / 300 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 896 ft / 274 m; Extra: 91 ft / 27m
    Gain on way out:91 ft / 27 m
    Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    End Trailhead:Grant Grove Village  6624 ft / 2018 m
    Time:36 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Park Ridge 2014

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Panoramic Point2014-06-151314 ft / 401 m
2Park Ridge2014-06-15265 ft / 81 m
3Park Ridge Lookout2014-06-15504 ft / 154 m
Total Trip Gain: 2083 ft / 636 m    Total Trip Loss: 2084 ft / 635 m



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