Ascent of Bally Peak on 2016-12-30

Climber: Swingshift Hiker

Date:Friday, December 30, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Bally Peak
    Elevation:2288 ft / 697 m

Ascent Trip Report

Had set out to climb this one previously. However when I had previously pulled up the screenshot on the peak page on my phone, discovered it did not have specific GPS coordinates, so climbed a backup peak. As I found out later, I had been on the wrong trail head (Redbud) anyway.

This hike is completely within the Cache Creek Wilderness Area. Armed with the specific GPS coordinates off of Google maps, and after a more careful read of previous reports, I headed to the correct trail head. I started from a roadside call box, on the north side of the road, about 0.6 miles west of the parking area for the Redbud trail head. Interestingly, you can see the peak to the south from the call box (not the one in the immediate foreground, its never THAT one!). Almost directly across the highway to the south from the call box, you can see the access road, which heads up the little ridge parallel to the highway. The access road gate is another 3/8 of a mile to the west, and then it parallels the highway. Though there was no break in the wire fence across from the call box, the wires had no barbs, and there was a recently felled tree right under the fence, which provide a nice step over. The primary obstacle was a 4 ft deep, muddy drainage ditch on the highway side of the fence. I would imagine in very wet year, it may be impassable, in which case you would need to utilize the area to the west with the gate.

The hike is otherwise straightforward, as the access road heads toward the peak. In a meadow, about 1/2 to 2/3 into the hike, there is a fork in which the more marked road goes to the left, and what looked, this day more like a well used animal trail, went ahead, and slightly right. This animal highway (at one point, there was a large elk, about 150 yards ahead of me) heads up to a saddle, just west of the peak. After the saddle, what now looks more like faint dirt road, continues to the south of the peak, where there is a ridge which doubles back to the summit. I scrambled from the saddle to the peak on the way up, but then walked down the road.

The views are surprisingly good from this otherwise unassuming peak. You can see the Mt Konocti peaks, with a partial view of Clear Lake, Mt Cobb, Mt Berryesa, and a bit of a view of the Central Valley. It is also a good vantage point to spot elk herds.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1318 ft / 401 m
    Extra Gain:30 ft / 9 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Trailhead:Call box on Highway 20  1030 ft / 313 m
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:40 Minutes

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