East Ord Mountain

Ord Mountain Route Network, CA


Distance2.9 mi
Elevation gain2,100 ft
Route typeLoop
Duration2 hr
CruxClass 2

Peaks bagged

East Ord Mountain(DPS, Zdon)6,168 ft / Prom. 1,488 ft

DPS. Desert Peaks SectionZdon. Andy Zdon's Desert Summits


The forecast for the Mojave Desert predicted uncharacteristically cool weather for May, so I decided seize the opportunity and visit the Ord Mountains – an area I had yet to explore – to climb its three namesake peaks: East Ord Mountain, Ord Mountain, and West Ord Mountain. The first peak of the day, East Ord Mountain, would be the most technical.

To get to the trailhead, I drove north on Camp Rock Road from Lucerne Valley and turned left near a pair of transmissions towers onto an unnamed road. I followed this road for about a mile before turning right at a fork, after which the road deteriorated significantly. I parked a few miles up the road in a flat, open area next an old concrete foundation, marked "Guzzler" on the USGS topo.

Starting off along the road.
From the road, I dropped into the drainage on the right.
Dryfall at the base of the drainage.
On top of the dryfall, looking back.
The drainage gains 1,600 feet in just over a mile.
Sticking to the left of the drainage results in less boulder-hopping.
The drainage splits into two at the pinnacle ahead.
Stay right at the pinnacle.
Looking back.
Despite appearances, the terrain is pretty solid.
A second split coming up. Again, stay right.
The drainage never exceeds class 2.
Looking back. The snowcapped San Bernardino Mountains are visible on the horizon.
Approaching a saddle. The route heads through the notch visible top-right.
Veering right toward the notch.
Past the notch, the summit comes into view.
A convenient class 2 ramp leads to the summit.
East Ord Mountain summit. View east.
View west toward West Ord Mountain.
Starting my descent via East Ord's southeast ridge. The ascent drainage is below to the right.
Looking back up at East Ord Mountain.
Some cool basalt column formations.
Large outcrop, which I bypassed to the left.
Continuing down the ridge.
At this point I realized I was heading down the wrong ridge.
Side-hilling to the correct ridge on the right.
Another outcrop. This time, I climbed directly over it.
Steep and loose on the final part of the ridge.
Almost at the bottom. My car is in the flat, sandy area ahead.
Back at the trailhead, one last look toward East Ord Mountain. The summit is out of view.

Nearby trips

Ord Mountain
Ord Mountain
5.2 mi1,900 ft2 hr
West Ord Mountain
West Ord Mountain
3.3 mi1,500 ft1.5 hr
Bertha Peak
Bertha Peak
7.5 mi1,400 ft2.5 hr