Cahuilla Mtn and BM Cahuilla Trip Report

Dates: September 15 and 21, 2002

BM Cahuilla (5,604 ft)

This was the first outing with my new jade green Toyota Tacoma. It proved useful on the approach to the trailhead with washboard and a few dips.

My intention was to have climbed to the summit of Cahuilla Mtn (5,635 ft). Unfortunately I took a wrong turn at a trail junction (unsigned), and, as the trail petered out of existence, I ended up bushwacking in the ever-warming desert morning.

I gave up, and, as I learned later on the summit of the subpeak BM Cahuilla just 1/3 mile to the north, I had been only one or two hundred hundred horizontal yards from the summit.

During my backtrack north to BM Cahuilla, I had initially started down the wrong gully to the east. Noting my general heading as incorrect I headed back up and then over the ridge to recognizable terrain - including BM Cahuilla (which at the time I thought was a 5,200 ft subpeak north thereof). I have plenty of scratches to show for my cross-country efforts.

After descent from the subpeak I placed three wooden tree branches at the trail junction so as to block future hikers from making the same error as I had.

Cahuilla Mtn (5,635 ft)

I returned the following Saturday for a reattempt on the true summit. I was successful - albeit the trail peters out after turning west around the southern flank of BM Cahuilla. At this point (about 5,500 ft) some bushwacking is mandatory to reach the summit some 1/3 mile south. The branches were dry as tinder - so much so that with relative ease I could snap one inch thick branches with my bare hands to facilitate passage at times.