Ascent of Mount Turnbull on 2016-04-02

Climber: Eric Kassan

Others in Party:Richard Hensley -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Kay Komuro -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Paul McClellan -- Trip Report or GPS Track
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, April 2, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Mount Turnbull
    Elevation:8282 ft / 2524 m

Ascent Trip Report

The first part of this ascent is acquiring the permit. Unfortunately, the reservation does not appear to be updating the website ( ) as I checked with several locations listed there which no longer provide permits. The permits are available at the Bashas grocery store in Peridot (at the southern intersection of highway 170 and US 70, at the customer service desk. The cost is $10 per person per day (for hiking). The parking lot also makes a good place to leave any lesser vehicles that may be in your party.

The next challenge is the road selection. We took another route (further east) up that I do not recommend (one where I also got a flat tire). From US 70 at Bashas, head southeast on US 70 for about 22.3 miles to a road on the right that is called Coolidge Dam Road on Google Maps, but the road sign says "Calva Rd". Take that road west for about 7.8 miles to a dirt road on the left. There is a split that recombines on that route. On our way down, we took the right (west) fork (which ascends the ridge west of Acorn Well)- that way worked and only had a couple slightly challenging spots, but the left (east) fork was probably the more popular, and probably better, road. Note that the west fork does not show as complete on the topo map, and neither of these reaches the next saddle according to Google Maps, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the satellite imagery before this drive. Both forks recombine at elevation 4320'. The road further combines with my (strongly discouraged) ascent route at 5520'. From there, push as high as you feel comfortable (if I weren't driving without a spare, I might well have driven higher myself). There is a nice turnout with plenty of room for parking and even camping (for an additional fee) at about 7160', but the road goes to about 7300'. Despite barely enough room to turn around there, someone had actually set up a fire ring and possibly camped.

After the road ends, a surprisingly good (for unmaintained) trail goes most of the rest of the way. From where the trail peters out, there is moderate bushwhacking to the final giant rocks. We followed a brushy ramp up the north side and then found a decent steep rocky chute to our right, and with some easy class 3 we were on the final ridge. The top is not very steep and one can walk right up the slabs to the summit. There was a private? family register in a small glass jar where a father and son came up in 1991, then both returned with the son's son in 2011. There was a broken empty plastic water container at the top, but no real register to speak of, so I left one.

Weather can be a challenge on this peak- it was comfortable for us, but there were still a couple of short snow patches we needed to cross. If one waits until snow is certainly gone, it may well be too hot (especially if one has to start at a lower elevation).
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2202 ft / 670 m
    Extra Gain:80 ft / 24 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.8 mi / 7.7 km
    Route:Road to west ridge
    Trailhead:Road @ 6240'  6240 ft / 1901 m
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 
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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