Elevation: 8,294 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published November 2019
Peak 8294 is a gentle hump that sits above the convergence of Poison Creek and Big Bear Creek. It is most easily climbed via its Northeast Ridge where an ATV trail gets close to the saddle at the base of the Northeast Ridge. The South Ridge is open terrain and makes for a nice scramble down to FSR-197 and Big Bear Creek. USGS Tepee Mountain
West Face/Southwest Ridge, Class 2
Date of Climb: August 4, 2019
From the bridge crossing at the mouth of Hawley Creek Canyon, drive up Hawley Creek Road/FSR-275 for 2.6 miles to a fork in the road. This marks the junction of FSR-177 and FSR-279. Hawley Creek Road ends here. Park in a pullout located just past the junction on FSR-279/Reservoir Creek Road. The elevation here is 6,925 feet. This is the second leg in a climb of Peak 8531 and Peak 8294. It begins at the saddle that connects these two ranked summits.
From the connecting saddle, follow a decent cattle trail E then SE up the lower part of the West Face until the trail ends at the Southwest Ridge. The Southwest Ridge is short scrub with a broken rock base and makes for a fast ascent. The summit of Peak 8294 is a gentle hump with short grass, no sagebrush, and embedded scree/gravel. There was a small cairn on top.
South Ridge (Descent), Class 2
Same as for the West Face/Southwest Ridge Route
This descent route is part of a loop route that climbs Peak 8531 and Peak 8294 and then returns to a parking pullout at the junction of FSR-279 and FSR-197. From the summit of Peak 8294, descend SSE down an obvious ridgeline on easy short grass, at least initially. The veg becomes more torturous, however, as you descend farther. When this ridge section is about to flame out, scramble cross-country R/W to cross a dry gully and reach a small grassy plot/meadow that is visible as you descend to this area.
From the meadow, contour SW up onto the lower portion of the South Ridge. Follow the ridge S to reach FSR-177 just W of the Poison Creek drainage in a flat meadow area. Hike W down FSR-177 to a fording of Big Bear Creek. Either walk through the shallow sections of the wide crossing via the road or jump across the creek at a narrow section about 30 to 40 yards upstream. Once across Big Bear Creek, follow FSR-177 down to its junction with FSR-279 and the parking pullout.