Mile High Mountain

HARD 3 reviews

Mile High Mountain is a 12.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Desert Lodge, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from November until April.

DISTANCE
12.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4675 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

off trail

no shade

no dogs

This 12+ mile hike takes 10 hours if done correctly and you will gain well over 5,000 feet of elevation. The hike is strenuous due to the long and difficult route. Once you get high enough up, you are rewarded with stunning views of the Salton Sea. The most direct route up the mountain is the ridge forming the west wall of Palo Verde Canyon. After walking towards the canyon opening about a mile, walk another 1.5 miles up the canyon to 1,900 ft and then look for a faint steep trail up to the ridge-line. There is a sharp bend just before you get to 1,900 ft.

hiking
3 hours ago

This hike has some beautiful views and is great if you’re looking to put some tough, leg-burning miles into your boots.

The first challenge is picking up the trail. There is basically no maintained trail from the road to the canyon where the trail really starts. We scrambled around the foothills for about an hour before finding the correct canyon.

After a short walk up the canyon, the route cuts up a very steep portion of the canyon’s western wall. This turn was easy to miss and the trail is barely perceptible in some parts. The gravely, cactus-y wash underfoot was pretty unstable and made for some hairy scrambling.

Once we made it to the ridge line, the trail became easier to follow, but the terrain underfoot remained very challenging, steep and narrow. At several points, a misstep in the crumbly wash could have meant a serious fall, injury or worse. We ended up turning around about halfway in.

Bring a lot of water and proper footwear for this one. I would not recommend doing it alone. I also would not want to descend in the dark, so leave plenty of daylight.

This trail is great if you’re looking for a long, rugged, somewhat daring ridge scramble. It rewards you with beautiful views and solitude, but is not for the faint of heart.

backpacking
25 days ago

Better views than Rabbit Peak! We took a different and much easier route up following the ridge to Villager and crossing over the ridge to Mile High Peak and then back.

hiking
1 month ago

Your typical Anza cactus fest. Amazing views at the top. This one is steep. Kinda like a longer San Ysidro Mtn.