Lookout Mtn #1 and Rock Point, November 4, 2017

The existing trails to Lookout Mountain #1 were closed because it crosses private property and has a large fence with no trespassing signs. However, in July of this year 3 HPS members discovered a new route by going south on the PCT for about 1.5 miles, contouring around Lookout Mountain to a gully that heads north towards the summit. The steep usetrail is marked very clearly all the way to the summit, about 0.7 miles after leaving the PCT.

I met Jorge and Diana in the town of Hemet, after which we drove together to the trail head at the signed PCT parking lot on Hwy 74. After passing through the gate on the south side of the highway we hiked downhill on the PCT for about a mile and a half looking for the gully. Not finding it, Diana and I backtracked a little, thinking we might have missed it. Jorge in the meantime continued further down the PCT, and did find it a few minutes later.

The turn-off for the gully is actually very obvious once you see it! The route through the gully is clearly marked at lasts only about a 3rd of a mile, after which you leave it on the left following a steep section to the main ridge to the summit. Once on the ridge, we quickly reached the top of the hill where we found the HPS register, and took a short break. After a little while we returned down the same trail back to the PCT and the car.

We drove the short distance to the nearby trailhead for Rock Point. Having been at this trailhead before when we hiked to Butterfly Peak, we had no problem finding it this time! Also, Diana and Jorge had been to rock Point not too long ago, and the short distance of about 2 miles to the peak should make for an easy climb.

However, things are not always as they seem: when we got close to the Peak, we noticed a large rock cairn, but Jorge remembered that there should be a sign along the trail, marking the route to the summit. So, on we went for a short distance around the Peak, to a point where we could see the houses and main road below us. We decided that we had gone too far on this trail, and back-tracked to where we found the rock cairn. About 50 yards after turning off the main trail, we found the actual sign for Rock Point! From there the route finding was easy, following the several ducks steeply uphill all the way to the large summit blocks. We quickly found the HPS Register, and after adding our names, we played around the large summit rocks for a while.

Afterwards, we quickly dropped down the ducked route to the main trail that took us back to our car. Another great day, exploring two new peaks, and bringing Diana and Jorge one step closer to finishing their HPS List for the second time.

Only 7 peaks to go guys!!!