Yolo County High Point Trip Report

Little Blue Peak

Date: October 6, 2001
Author: Edward Earl

Adam and I bush-camped the previous night at a pullout 3 miles up road 40 as described in Suttle's book. At daybreak we continued to a 4-way road junction which, according to the odometer, was 4.8 miles from highway 16 (Suttle's book says 4.5 miles). At this point Suttle's book failed us. The book said to take Morgan Valley/Rayhouse Road, but none of the signs at the junction mentioned any of these names.

As we were headed south, our route was to go west, and both the straight-ahead and right branches went east, we opted to turn right. The road climbed up a ridge and, after about a mile, I determined from the DeLorme topo atlas that it was not the right way, as the correct road descended into a reservoir. After turning around and taking the straight-ahead branch (which immediately descended into a gully), we found the correct parking place without further incident.

Suttle suggests two possible routes: an all-BLM route with much bushwhacking and an alternative route that passes through private property. Choosing the latter, we bushwhacked north from where the jeep road begins to descend into Davis Creek. Even though the purpose of this route is to avoid major bushwhacking, the growth was still very thick here as we crossed two ravines, bearing northwest around a house (we had not yet encountered any fences or "No Trespassing" signs) until we hooked onto a gravel road. Taking it north, we saw several small white faded signs that seemed to have maps and guides of the area, as if the property was public. Eventually we came to a locked gate with a couple of very faded "No Trespassing" signs and 3-foot-deep eroded rut that rendered the road useless (for any street-legal motor vehicle) beyond that point.

The road soon faded into a series of rolling grassy hillsides. We worked our way up and up toward the peak that lies 1.5 miles SW of Little Blue Peak. Several times we tried to contour around to the right toward the saddle between this peak and Little Blue Peak, but every time we were thwarted by a steep drop-off down into rugged, brush-laden terrain. We had to go almost over the very top of the subsidiary peak before finding a firebreak road that runs down to the final saddle before wrapping around to the north side of Little Blue Peak. At this point the road became mostly overgrown with sharp, thorny brush. A sharp right turn near the crest of the summit ridge led to the top.

When we returned to our car we found another vehicle parked right behind it, which we later learned belonged to Anthony Chan, who had climbed the same peak the same day.

In driving out, we continued in the same direction along the road, which was now Rieff Road, for about 4 miles to its end at paved Morgan Valley Road, from which it is about 9 or 10 miles to CA highway 29 at the town of Lower Lake. Reversing these directions would facilitate an approach to Little Blue Peak from the west, which is not described in Suttle's book.

One curious feature is that we saw a No Trespassing sign on Rieff Road as we drove out, yet there was no indication from the other side that we were on private property. A person using this approach would encounter the No Trespassing sign, but I don't know exactly what the sign means given the lack of indication of private property on the other side. It may just be misaligned.