Eureka County High Point Trip Report

Diamond Peak (10,614 ft)

Date: September 27, 2001
Author: Mike Coltrin

This was a challenge peak for me in two ways: I climbed Bunker Hill that morning so was trying for a 'double' and, if I wasn't fast enough, would probably finish this hike in the dark.

From the north end of the town of Eureka I took the road toward the county landfill. When this paved road branched off to the south I continued on the high-speed dirt road straight ahead. There was one more intersection involving a high-speed dirt road. I didn't take proper notes but it was evident which road to take to get to Newark Canyon.

After passing a ranch (Hunters Ranch on the DeLorme map but signed with a different name) the road entered Newark Canyon. Shortly after dropping east out of Newark Summit I followed a 4WD road to the north. Near Poison Spring I had to open (and close) two gates. The road went through a 8420-foot saddle before dropping to a stock tank. From here the road climbed 450 feet to a saddle at 8820 feet. My vehicle could not pull this hill so I backtracked to the 8420-foot saddle and used the road up the flank of Alpha Peak and drove the traverse to 8820 feet. I began hiking from here at 3:00 pm.

The country was open but brush was thick, though short. There is a trail of sorts that contours on the east of the hill above where I left the car. This trail was hard to spot but worth the effort of finding. After a quarter mile or so I was on the ridge line and heading north at a good clip. The next obstacle was a rocky ridge at about 9000 feet. I chose to traverse on the west side. This might not have been the best way to go. The game trails I was on tended to disappear and, not being able to see how fast the ridge was climbing, I don't think I tried to go up as much as I should have.

I finally cleared this mess at about the 9250-foot level and worked my way back to the ridge. I was tiring and the climb was taking more time than I had budgeted. I remembered from my false hopes on Bunker Hill that morning to not get my hopes too high as I approached the ridge bump at 10,500 feet. The top was only 100 feet higher but an additional quarter mile of hiking. The top was reached at 5:20 pm.

I stayed about ten minutes on the summit then started back to the car. I chose to go around the ridge bump that bothered me on the ascent on its east flank this time. It was somewhat better than the route I used on the climb. I hurried along and was at the car at 6:45 pm, a few minutes after local sundown.

I hurriedly drove down the road to the stock tank using the available fading daylight and was able to get to the Newark Canyon road before dark.