Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Kessler Peak and Teutonia Peak

The weather was perfect for hiking in the Cima Dome area of the Mojave National Preserve, so Luke and I headed there to hike Kessler Peak and Teutonia Peak.  I've hiked them both already, about 10 years ago.  I posted the old Kessler hike here.  We didn't make it to the very top of Teutonia, as the GPS track shows.  I was exhausted, so that didn't bother me.  The Summitpost page for Teutonia Peak describes the various summits and exactly how to reach each one.  The GPS track view below is looking eastward.


We parked in a primitive camp site just east of Sunrise Rock and the Mojave Cross.  I've camped there several times.  It's a nice place to park for hikes because: it's pleasant to sit and rest since you're not adjacent to Cima Road, and there's less chance somebody will break into your car while you're hiking.  Here's a google map showing both Kessler and Teutonia peaks.  

It took us 1.5 hours to reach the top of Kessler, and another 1.5 hours to descend.  It's all off-trail and there's an cactus army blocking your path.


I'm not kidding about the cacti.  They were generous with their spines, surrendering many to my skin each time I got too close.  



Halfway up, here's the view looking up, and back down.



The view from the summit is nice.  You can see the broad bulge of Cima Dome to the west.


Looking north with Striped Mountain, Mescal Range, and Clark Mountain in the distance.


More cactus attacks on the descent.


It took us much less time to hike Teutonia, only 2.5 hours round-trip.  You can see how we explored the granite boulders on the north end.


Here's a shot of Kessler Peak from high on the Teutonia trail.


Many of the plants were in bloom and the air was filled with an interesting mixture of aromas.  One such smell was remarkably similar to cannabis.  I don't know what desert plant smells like cannabis, but it must be growing in that area.  We saw lots of rabbits and, luckily, no rattlesnakes.

All in all, it was a fun and exhausting day.

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