2017 - May 12 - 14 » Old Man, Mont Arrido, Hildreth

I hiked these three peaks as part of a 47-mile 3-day backpack from the junction of Potrero Seco Road and Highway 33. Since the road has been closed to an easier route on Hildreth Peak, and Old Man and Mont Arido aren't easy peaks to get to either, I thought this would be a reasonably efficient and interesting way to get all 3. The only problem is that there wouldn't be any reliable water along the way. Here's what I ended up doing:

 

Day 1 -  16 miles, 3050' gain, 4000' loss.  7 hrs.

First I hiked 8 miles to 3 Sisters (the junction where I turn off for Hildreth). I started with 4 gallons of water in my pack, and stashed nearly 2 gallons here to pick up the next day.  Then I hiked 5.5 miles towards Hildreth and made camp. Then I hiked 1.5 miles to Hildreths summit and back to camp.

 

Day 2 - 17 miles, 5100' gain, 3550' loss. 8.5 hrs.

I packed up camp and hiked 5.5 miles back to the 3 Sisters and picked up most of the water I'd left here, leaving just 1 liter to pick up on my return. Then I hiked 6 miles towards Mont Arido/Old Man peaks and left my camp there. Then I hiked both Mont Arido and Old Man peaks, then back to camp in a 6 mile roundtrip hike.

 

Day 3 - 14 miles, 2400' gain, 3000' gain. 5.5 hrs.

Hiked back to my truck.

 

I thought this plan worked rather well. The first 8 miles while carrying 4 gallons of water was a challenge, but overall the trip was rather reasonable. The scenery was top notch, and Old Man and Hildreth Peaks are very worthy objectives. Even though most of the hike was on old roads, these roads haven't been used in quite some time and the entire hike felt incredibly isolated, especially so  on the leg to Hildreth. I also saw a snake, lots of bear scat and bear prints. And...I did a quick side-hike to the Seco survey marker and had a unique experience on my way there. I was pushing through some brush and came upon a tiny newborn dear curled up underneath a bush. It was a bit startling and I've never seen anything like it. It could't have been more than a week or two old...

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