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Backus Peak

(UTM 155460)

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.

Peak Guides
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 gain and loss along the ridge.

Older Peak Guides (routes may no longer be legal or safe, use caution!): 2000, and Microsoft Word version from 2001.

Backus from Highway 178
Photo by Janet Howell

Maps! Lots of maps!

Current Conditions
  • Weather Forecast from the National Weather Service
  • Gate status: there are no gates.
  • Status of State Route 178 from Caltrans
  • Deer hunting season - "The season in Zone X-10 shall open on the last Saturday in September and extend for 16 consecutive days." For more information, visit the California Fish and Game Commission.
  • Adventure Passes are not currently (2011) required by the Bureau of Land Management.

Trip Reports from our Archives

Emblems earned on Backus Peak
  • 16 January 2000 - Doug Mantle, Fifth List Completion #6
  • 19 April 2002 - Ron Zappen, 200 Peaks Pathfinder Emblem #3
  • 17 November 2002 - Mike Gosnell, 200 Peaks Bar #391
  • 3 December 2005 - Sue Ellsworth, 200 Peaks climbed (unofficial)
  • 27 December 2007 - Dave Cannon, First List Completion #272

Links of Interest

Sierra Club

Angeles Chapter

Desert Peaks

Lower Peaks

Sierra Peaks

San Diego Peaks

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