VILLAGER PEAK EXPLORATORY|
Seven hikers showed up for this trip to the southern end of the Santa Rosa Mountains for the combined exploratory trip with the Desert Peaks Section. Unfortunately, the schedule listed this only as a DPS hike. Of the seven, six were Sierra Club members and four of those were 100 Peaks Section members. "Exploratory" was the proper word for the hike as the group started off from Clark Well in the direction to do Rabbit Peak. Fortunately, the error was discovered and corrections in the direction were made without much lost ground. The route took us up a wash which included some short stretches of class 3 work. We then got on a ridge and followed it to the top of Villager. On top we met two more DPS members who were on a one day trip from Clark Lake to Rabbit to Villager to Clark Lake. We then went down a long steep ridge of loose crud for the necessary 5200 foot elevation loss. It's a good thing everyone spoke in soft voices because there were plenty of curses spoken regarding the loose footing.
The feeling of all was that Villager should definitely be on the HPS list. It is a relatively strenuous hike of about 12 miles round trip and 5200 feet elevation gain. The nearest peak is Rabbit Peak which is better than a two hour walk away. The scenery is beautiful from the top with good views out over both the Salton Sea and Anza-Borrego Park.
The road across Clark Lake was good except for the last mile to Clark Well. In this region sand has blown over the main road making it impossible for standard American cars to traverse. This problem was solved in our group simply by placing all seven into my Scout and going over the sand in four-wheel drive.
One rarity occurred on the trip. Despite the fact there are several million people in the Long Beach-Los Angeles area and only seven were on the hike, two of the group, who had never seen each other before, discovered they lived on the same block in Gardena. And... each drove the long distance by himself.