Boulder Peak, West Boulder Peak, and Peak 6486

Owens Peak Wilderness, CA


Distance13.5 mi
Elevation gain5,200 ft
Route typeLoop
Duration6.5 h
CruxClass 3

Peaks bagged

Peak 51795,179 ft / Prom. 219 ft

Boulder Peak6,283 ft / Prom. 363 ft

West Boulder Peak6,252 ft / Prom. 292 ft

Peak 64866,486 ft / Prom. 646 ft


Starting up Boulder Peak's northeast slope.
Looking back. My car is near the intersection of dirt roads left of center.
Class 2.
Gaining the ridge.
Peak 5179 ahead. Noname Canyon is below on the right.
Looking back.
Approaching the summit of Peak 5179.
Peak 5179 summit. View toward Boulder Peak.
Descending 200 feet to the saddle between Peak 5179 and Boulder Peak, bypassing the prominence on the right.
At the saddle, view of the route up Boulder Peak's northeast slope. From here, it's 1,300 feet of vertical in just over half a mile.
Looking back at Peak 5179, right.
Class 2.
Alternating sides of the ridge to avoid trickier terrain.
Another look back at Peak 5179, now far below.
View northwest into Noname Canyon.
Topping out on Boulder Peak.
Boulder Peak's summit is on the right. To the left, the snow covered peaks of the Sierra crest come into view.
Closeup of Owens Peak.
Boulder Peak summit.
From the summit, view of Owens Peak (left) and Spanish Needle (right), two peaks on the SPS list.
Continuing along the ridge toward West Boulder Peak.
Staying on the south side of the ridge to bypass some outcrops.
Descending 400 feet down a steep chute to the saddle between Boulder Peak and West Boulder Peak.
View back at a class 3 ramp (left) in the cliff band on Boulder Peak's west face.
Almost at the saddle, view back toward Boulder Peak's west face.
At the saddle.
View along the ridge crest toward West Boulder Peak. From here, I dropped down to the south side and side-hilled on easier terrain.
West Boulder Peak ahead.
Looking back at the side-hill section.
West Boulder Peak summit.
The register was placed in 1976. In 48 years I was only the 9th party to sign!
View toward Peak 6486.
Continuing to side-hill on the south side of the ridge toward Peak 5684.
Looking back toward Boulder Peak (left) and West Boulder Peak (right).
Gaining the ridge crest.
Another look back toward West Boulder Peak as I ascend a minor chute.
Crossing over to the north side of the ridge. Clear view of Peak 6486 on the left.
Entering a sandy plateau below Peak 6486. There were many animal tracks and deer antler sheds among the Joshua trees and juniper bushes.
Looking back as I ascend Peak 6486's sandy southern slope.
Peak 6486 summit, view northeast.
View along the remaining ridgeline to Sawtooth Peak, far right. Many Pinyon pines stud the northern slopes.
View northwest into Noname Canyon.
View southeast toward Boulder Peak and West Boulder Peak. I returned this way, aiming for the saddle on the right.
Almost at the saddle, about to begin my 2,500-foot descent into Sand Canyon.
Making quick work down a sandy, southernly slope.
Looking back.
A wide, sandy wash.
Staying high above the brush-choked creek to the left.
Another look back at the sandy slope I just descended.
Approaching Sand Canyon, veering to the left.
The creek was flowing steadily and guarded by thick brush. Unable to cross, I paralleled the creek to the north on easy terrain.
Looking back along the northern slopes of Sand Canyon.
Joining a crude trail. There was a lot of old ranching equipment.
The trail improved farther down the canyon, eventually giving way to a road.
Looking back as the canyon begins to widen.
Another look back.
Crossing under the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
Final view into Sand Canyon as I join with Sand Canyon Road.
Turning left onto a road named "2nd LA Aqueduct" on Google Maps, which follows the aqueduct for about a quarter mile. Boulder Peak's eastern slope is visible ahead, some 3 miles away.
Almost back at the car, around the bend on the left.

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