Granite Mountains #2, Palen Mountains
By: Greg Roach, Mirna Roach
We met Saturday morning about 7:00 a.m. at State Highway 177 and Palen Pass dirt road. The Palen Pass road (BLM P172) is not marked at Highway 177. After the usual greetings and salutations we headed for Palen Pass and Granite Mountain. The mountains around Palen Pass are scenic and beautiful. There was some confusion about where to find the "obvious dirt road heading left (NW) 1.0 mile E of the pass" as the guide describes. This is because it is not obvious just where the top of the Palen Pass is. Eventually we found the right road and were back on course.
The cars were parked about 1/4 mile east of Packard Well and the group started hiking. We took an alternate route to the peak hiking directly north, not the one shown in the guide. Although the new route was not intentional it worked out well. The climbing party came up to the top of the ridge south of the peak. Then the group hiked the ridge north to the peak and returned by the standard route A shown in the guide. This made an enjoyable loop hike. We called our new route the "Roach Approach". The hike started about 9:30 a.m. and returned to our cars at 4:00 p.m. After the hike we drove back to some ruins west of Palen Pass to make camp there. We sighted this spot on the way in. The ruins were a good place to camp. Our group enjoyed a great happy hour and campfire that night. Mirna and Bronagh brought delicious homemade chili. There were also other goodies to share.
Sunday morning found us driving in to climb Palen Mountain from the West. The road is washed out about a mile before the base of the mountains so we walked the extra mile. This was a fun climb. We followed a wash with pink bubble gum colored rocks in it. These rocks looked very strange especially on the return in the afternoon sunlight. The summit block was a rocky crag with a tremendous view. The weather was very warm and pleasant this trip.
Those who participated in this outing were Greg Roach, Mirna Roach, Jim Conley, Julie Rush, Wynne Benti-Zdon, Delores Holladay, Bob Greer, Barbara Reber, Bronagh Lynch, Helen Thompson, Erik Siering, and Bill Stevens.
Thanks to everyone who joined us on this trip.
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