This June, we did a short, but interesting, hike to Hinkle Lake on the east side of the Siskiyou Mountains. That hike featured a lake, an old cabin, and an old mine. From both the lake and the cabin, I could see Arnold Mountain (6,648 feet) rising to the south. Adding a climb to its summit to that hike was voted down, so I made a note to try it later. I took The LovedOne’s involvement with the library’s quarterly book sale as my cue to do the short, but steep, hike up Arnold. It used to be called Lake Peak. In 1998, at the urging of his family and others, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names renamed it for Ezra Arnold (1853-1931), who discovered gold on its southeast slopes in 1915.
I parked at the junction of Forest Road (FR) 1040-800 and FR 1040-850, then walked-up FR 850 toward the old Arnold Mine ore bin. A 4-truck convoy of hunters descended past me as I was going up. When I got to the old ore bin, I could sorta overlook the trash they left behind but NOT the still burning campfire! This totally irresponsible act brought the abject stupidity of wildfire starters to a new level. 👿 I wasn’t equipped to put out a fire but, fortunately, another hunter arrived with water and a shovel and dealt with it. 🙂 Neither of us could quite grasp how, after all the wildfires we’ve endured in recent years, anyone could do something so utterly idiotic and dangerous as leave an open fire unattended. 😡 🙄
After this bit of excitement (which, fortunately didn’t grow into run-for-your-life excitement) I continued on up the road, past the gate, and then cut up to Arnold’s east ridge. Moving toward the summit, I tried to stay on the ridge crest but had to dodge a lot of brush to do so.
A rocky chute took me the last 100 feet or so to the summit, which is graced with a plaque about Ezra Arnold. There is also a summit register in a plastic jar but some rodent got into the jar and chewed the register into a nice, cozy nest. Because Arnold is higher than every other peak in its vicinity, the view from its summit is wonderfully expansive in all directions. This summit is about the view, not the climb.
After soaking in the view and having a snack, it was back to the trailhead. I found an easier way off the summit and then avoided most of the brush by staying on the west side of the ridge (there’s a faint use trail). I checked the campfire again on the way out to be sure it too was out.RETURN TO FRONT PAGE