Ascent of Cottonwood Peak on 2009-09-30

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Others in Party:Michael Brush
Date:Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Cottonwood Peak
    Elevation:6608 ft / 2014 m

Ascent Trip Report

Cottonwood Peak, with 2088' of prominence, ranks #143 on the list of 163 CA 2KP peaks. Take the Henley/Hornbrook exit from I-5 north of Yreka. Cross to the west side of the highway and about 0.1 mile south on the Bradley/Henley frontage road pass through an open green gate (with a Century 21 realty sign and a "Jillson Mine" sign on it). Drive up Rocky Gulch Rd, steep and rutted in places, climbing about 2,400 feet in 5.0 miles to a hairpin turn with a wide shoulder for good parking (4,725). A sign posted on a tree by the Fruit Growers Supply Co. marks the start of the hike to Cottonwood Peak on a fairly wide, graded dirt road, which is blocked by a berm to discourage vehicular traffic. This area is private land outside the boundaries of Klamath NF, but there are no signs to warn visitors. After 1+ miles and several steep stretches the road peters out and becomes a good use trail, and the peak soon comes into view. We followed the trail a short way to an open, rocky slope, ascending it to the main ridge. Then XC uphill through the woods, keeping to the north side of the ridge to avoid occasional rock outcrops. The summit rocks are in a small open area among the trees. On the return we stayed on the main ridge to an elaborate hunting camp just above the junction of the road and trail on a short spur. It's a bit easier and more direct to approach the peak from the hunting camp than the track we followed bypassing the out-of-view camp. The RT distance from car to peak is about 5 miles. Intrepid Andy Martin drove his low-clearance Mitsubishi a mile or two farther than I did to within about a mile of the peak.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country
    Weather:Cloudy, good visibility
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Jeep road/XC
Descent Statistics

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