McCullough Revisited by East Route

Pics by Harlan W. S. + Luba L.
January 21, 2006

West of Searchlight, NV. GPS files are at bottom of page.

This east route in is well described by Jim Boone. The hike is essentially the same as that described by Andy Zdon in the book "Desert Summits". Three years ago, Nick and I climbed McCullough from the west, taking a long dirt track SSE from Jean. This eastern approach was more suitable for a modest-clearance vehicle like my Subaru, or so I thought.

McCullough is not a mountain that blows you away with awesome grandeur. Yet the hike is pleasant and amazingly brush-free, with lots of travel through open sandy washes. (There are lots of sharp plants, so think twice about bringing your dog if it is not used to cactus, and bring tweezers.) The only tricky part is when one must change washes (up the "NW-up-Ridge" near the "Saddle" marked below on the map); but with a GPS, the route is trivial.


This is one of the LVMC "50 Classic Peaks" and is also a DPS favorite.

The summit is only 7026', and the hikes starts ~5200', so use common sense and go only in cooler weather, e.g. fall to spring. There is no water en route, and the hike is completely trailless. If a big thunderstorm threatens, get out of the washes.



GPS trace. On the way back, we went south on the ridge; the wash route is easier.


Near the end of the drive in, my rear right tire hit a rock on the sidewall, the seal broke, and the tire was instantly flat. Thanks to a team effort led by Josh, the donut spare was on in less than 30 minutes.


View ESE as Josh and Dazey contour to the saddle.





View NW at the saddle, as I point out something important.


Now we've dropped into the northern wash, off the W side of the saddle.


Banjo, the peak-bagger.





The middle section of the northern wash is occasionally rocky.

Alda does a snow ascent.






On top, view S.


View SW to Clark Mountain on left, Kingston at right.







Clark Mountain in CA.


NW to Potosi (left) and Charleston ridge (Charleston has a white snowy cap).







Luba and Alda act out "Gulag Archipelago".





Heading back down through the pleasant wash.



Joshua Joshua tree, with Spirit Mt. in far distance. When I took this telephoto, I didn't realize that two branches would appear to sprout from Josh's head, la Dr. Seuss.










GPS FILES: USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Please, PLEASE, please note these files are relative to WGS84.

Everything as one gpx file. Be sure to transfer all tracks and waypoints.

Hike track and waypoints for the drive, in gpx format.

Many, many programs support gpx format -- look here.

Just the hike track, in txf format (text).

The track is less than 300 points long, and can be uploaded to the majority of recent Garmin GPS, as a track, using this free program. The first part of the track is "corrected" to avoid the two small ridge-climbs we experienced in the first part of the hike.