Sandstone Peak & Boney Mountain Range
A really great hike on a really clear day.
9 miles, 2500 ft
Admittedly, this hike has been on my radar for a long time but I’ve kept putting it off with my tendency to explore the San Gabriel mountains instead of the Santa Monica range.
But man, on a clear day, the western end of the Santa Monica mountains provides a really fun hike with gorgeous views.
Sandstone Peak is the highpoint of the range, and lies in the Boney Mountain wilderness which provides a plethora of rock bouldering / climbing opportunities. I figured it would be nice to explore the classic loop and also veer off to scramble on some rocks.
We started at the Sandstone Peak trail parking lot, and took the peak trail up, with the plan to loop around to the Mishe Mokwa trail on the way back. The Sandstone Peak trail is a bit steeper, which I prefer to take on uphills.
Gaining elevation relatively quickly, one could get expansive views to the east including snow-capped Old Baldy
After a a bit under 2 miles, we scrambled up to Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the range.
I was excited to continue on and check out some of these peaks, hopefully with some nice bouldering opportunities.
We headed SW, and I diverged over to a brushy use-trail heading to Boney Peak. The high point can be obtained without much difficulty although the rock is fun to climb. People definitely use the south and east faces of the peak to rock climb, as evidenced here
Then we headed over to Inspiration Point. Just north of Inspiration Point there is a set of rocks persuading us to check out, and so we did. A little scrambling involved for more nice views.
Next we headed over to Exchange Peak. Here, you have options about how you ascend the massive rock. You could wrap around to the south side to take up an easier trail, or you can scramble up the west side which I thought was more fun.
Now when I was looking over topo maps of the area, it seemed that there was some indication of a peak named Boney Mt SW of Exchange Peak at ~ 2820 feet. We headed over this way, but couldn’t find an obvious trail to the summit. Perhaps doable, but we’ll have to wait for another trip out here to explore more.
Instead, we made our way back and veered off a side trail to Tri-Peaks. The Tri-Peaks summit is a good one; there is an obvious class 3-4 route on the east side.
But actually I didn’t feel sure of how well I would descend this way, so I didn’t go all the way up. However, Scott and I veered around to the north side where there is a less vertical climbing line. We took this to the peak and I would suggest the route as there are a bunch of good holds in the rock.
Of course, no hike of mine could be complete without some cross-country trekking. I wanted to connnect with the Mishe Mokwa trail without having to backtrack, so we headed west down a gully that was relatively brush free. After a few turn arounds, we found the Mishe Mokwa trail.
From here, we simply followed this trail to loop back. Along the way, there are some really cool views of Balanced Rock
Some of us engineers started talking about how hard it would be to tip that baby over. Hmm I wonder…
Great day. Would love to come back and find more scrambling routes up.
This entry was posted on Sunday, December 20th, 2009 at 3:35 pm and is filed under Trip Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.