Kern County Highpoint Trip Report

Northwest shoulder of Mount Piños (8,800+ ft) and Sawmill Mountain (8,818 ft)

Date: May 31, 2006
Author: Rich Wilson

We were joined by Bim on this one, so we set up a car shuttle to Cerro Noroeste. I had previously (September 1991) visited Piños and Sawmill and located what was thought at that time to be the Kern County HP where the county line crossed the north slope of Piños, based on Walt Wheelock's book.

However, with all the talk in recent years about a rock outcrop 100+ yards northwest of the Piños summit, I was finding it increasingly difficult to sleep at night. Therefore, I felt a return trip was in order.

We started at the end of the Mount Piños road and hiked up to Mount Piños. I agree with previous reports regarding the outcrop. Having pre-set county line coordinates in my GPS, I walked the county line from the metal post to due north of Mount Piños proper. My GPS suggests that the metal post is indeed on the county line, and I agree that no other ground from the county line north, is higher than the outcrop. This concluded my Kern County quest, however Bim and Bhe needed Sawmill to be sure, so we headed over there.

Dave Covill's pill bottle register is still under a rock right next to the eastern outcrop. Very few signatures. After that, we climbed Cerro Noroeste.

It was a beautiful day, with beautiful views up to the point where the gunk took over.

Area Camping: We spent 4 days camped at McGill, a real nice Forest Service campground on the Mount Piños Highway, about 3 miles before the trailhead.