On a Sunday morning after an HPS trip to Heald & Nicolls, I went exploring a couple of possible new peaks in the southern Sierra. I finished early so I thought I would try to do Skinner Peak from the North side via the Pacific Crest Trail. I seem to recall that someone else has done this also. Since I have not seen this mentioned in the Lookout, I thought I would pass on the results.
California BLM road SC65 intersects Hwy. 14 about 33 miles north of Mojave. This dirt road travels WNW up Horse Canyon to a saddle which for want of a better name I will refer to as Horse Canyon Saddle. There is a three way fork at this saddle as well as a trail crossing of the PCT.
I hiked South along the PCT for 2.5 miles to a point below the present summit of Skinner. From there, it was just a few hundred feet through the trees up to the summit. The total gain was probably about 2000'. The entire round trip took less than 2 hours.
The route from Bird Spring Pass can be rather hot during the summer months. The advantage of the Northern route is that the trail winds along a wooded slope the entire distance. It is definitely a prettier route though somewhat shorter. It has only one disadvantage: if you are trying to do Skinner along with other peaks in the Jawbone Canyon Area, you will add about twenty miles of dirt road driving since Horse Canyon is only accessible from the Eastern Side.