King Peak is the tallest mountain in the King Mountain Range. At 4091 feet /1247 meters, it isn’t terribly tall. But its got near enough to 3,000 feet of prominence (height from the ground the mountain is on to the top of the mountain), which makes it tall enough for me.
We took the Lightning Trail to the summit, but there are 2 other routes that you can take. Probably more if you’re backpacking. If you are doing it as a day hike I recommend Lightning. The trail is well marked and fun. After reaching the summit we took one of the alternative routes, King Crest North, for a couple of miles and found the going discouragingly slow. Lots of fallen trees meant it was hard to maintain a stride.
I don’t know how to say this politely. So, I’ll say it as least impolitely as I can:
I do not care for California. It is the least dog friendly state I’ve been to on this trip, or any trip. It is the state with the most parks that include rules to the effect of “no having fun.”
But it has at least 4 things I do like:
1) The Mojave Desert National Preserve
2) Really big trees
3) Highway 1, aka Pacific Coast Highway, aka driving nirvana
4) King Range National Conservation Area.
And it is the last two points that this post is dedicated to.
Does the picture above look like the desert to you? If so, you are technically correct…the best kind of correct. But also, in this case terribly misguided. The desert has all sorts of scrubby plants in it and rolling hills, and pebbles, and rocks and boulders and cacti and skittering beetles and such. Large piles of sand? Not so much.