Backus Peak is located in Kern County, about 43 miles north of
Mojave, 140 miles from Los Angeles. It lies within the
Owens Peak Wilderness.
Peak 6651' is not named on the USGS or USFS maps. In 1999 the Hundred
Peaks Section named this peak for John Backus, the first person to lead
the entire Hundred Peaks Section's List. The Hundred Peak Section's
Leadership Award is named in honor of John Backus.
See the Summit Signature for
more history and some background about the name of the peak.
HPS has two current documented routes to the peak. Route 1 is 6 miles round
trip with a total of 2700' of gain. It starts near Freeman Junction and follows a
dirt road to a saddle, then ascends a ridge to the summit.
Route 2 is about 8 miles round trip and 3700'
of gain, with
road, cross-country then road. It
begins at the summit
of Russell Peak, and follows the ridge southeast
over several bumps to the summit. The ridge is only 2 miles long, but allow
extra time for route finding and rocky cross-country travel. There is 900' of
and loss along the ridge.
Older Peak Guides (routes may no longer be legal or safe, use caution!):
Microsoft Word version
Backus from Highway 178
Photo by Janet Howell