Ascent of Signal Peak on 2018-05-24

Climber: Andrew Kirmse

Others in Party:David Sanger -- Trip Report or GPS Track
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, May 24, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Signal Peak
    Elevation:10365 ft / 3159 m

Ascent Trip Report

Unlike the northern route from Pine Valley Campground, which is shaded and without views, the eastern approach from Oak Grove Campground has terrific views out to the Zion area. The price is a steep climb of 3200 feet in under 3 miles, brutally exposed to the sun, especially in its lower part.

Worried about the heat, we left Las Vegas at 4:30 am. Just before sunrise, an unusual Fata Morgana mirage caused the orange sky to appear to eat away at imaginary mountains on the horizon as we sped towards them. We took Forest Service Road 032 for 8 miles to the Oak Grove Campground. The road is dirt and gravel and is passable by any vehicle. With the time zone change, it was 8:30 am. The first mile is particularly steep and unshaded, making us think that perhaps we had made a mistake by going up this way. Numerous thigh-high oaks indicate that there has been a fire in the recent past. Fortunately there is some shade higher up from some trees that had survived the fire, and we got a bit of a breeze.

After an eternity of switchbacks, the trail reaches a saddle at 9800 feet, then descends to the large plateau at the top of the range. We encountered numerous small, lingering snow patches on our way through the forest and two incongruous open meadows. Just after the second meadow, we left the trail uphill to the left and went cross-country up 500 feet to the summit area. There are partial views and a combined register / geocache at a small outcropping on the western side of the summit.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4515 ft / 1376 m
    Total Elevation Loss:650 ft / 198 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4515 ft / 1376 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3865 ft / 1178 m; Extra: 650 ft / 198m
    Loss on way in:650 ft / 198 m
    Distance:9.8 mi / 15.8 km
    Start Trailhead:Oak Grove Campground  6500 ft / 1981 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Andrew Kirmse
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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.

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