Ascent of San Benito Mountain on 2015-05-23

Climber: Eric Kassan

Others in Party:Josef Nuernberger
Ken Miller
Date:Saturday, May 23, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:San Benito Mountain
    Elevation:5241 ft / 1597 m

Ascent Trip Report

I'm not sure whether the fact the area is now legally "open" is a good thing or not. To enter, each person requires a "personal permit" which is "free" except for the fact that each must be PURCHASED SEPARATELY for a transaction fee (currently $6). At least one person in the party needs this in order for the ranger to release the combination to the lock that secures the area. Then, each vehicle is required to purchase a $5 permit, but that can be done onsite near the gate.

There is a map, but it is dangerous in that it lacks numerous roads, and the numbering is not consistent with the posted signs. Ironically this map is only available at the site where the personal permit should be purchased ( and not the site of the area-

On the plus side, the road is now good enough that a passenger car should be able to make it, if the correct roads are chosen and proper care is taken. That said, I didn't drive or even walk all of the proper road, as I got off route, and when I got to the area southwest of the peak, I decided to get some hiking in and hiked up. The jeep road from the southwest is closed just below the top. On the way up we continued on a trail which vanished into a bit of bushwhacking, but we took the closer route on the way down. On the drive out, we went east toward the road east of the peak that heads north. That road all the way back was quite good. When we hit the point marked 5045' on the topo where a road goes directly northwest to the summit, that road also looked good, but again, we did not drive or hike it.

The highest point is on some small rocks that require a bit of easy class 3 scrambling.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:501 ft / 152 m
    Total Elevation Loss:501 ft / 152 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.9 mi / 3.1 km
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:501 ft / 152 m
    Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Route:Southwest ridge
    Start Trailhead:Road SW of summit @ 4740'  4740 ft / 1444 m
    Time:15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:501 ft / 152 m
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Route:Southwest ridge
    End Trailhead:Road SW of summit @ 4740'  4740 ft / 1444 m
    Time:30 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Eric Kassan
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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