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White Mountain Peak MTB — Patriarch Grove to Locked Gate

Just past the Patriarch Grove turnoff at mile 20.5, the road steepens, and the thinning air can now become a stronger factor if one has not taken several days to acclimate. Also, if the road has not been graded recently and/or rains have eroded it, there can be some jarring “washboard” sections for several miles.

At the minor summit at mile 21.6, the road takes a long dip downwards, then climbs to another minor summit, then dips a few hundred feet to a low point and 120° turn at mile 23.6, whereupon it climbs gradually towards the locked gate at mile 25.0.

Cache #3 near Patriarch Grove

We placed our #3 cache just past Patriarch Grove. This was on the way down, and I’m now feeling a bit tired. My Lupine Betty II headlamp is now mounted (orange faceplate), grabbed from the cache just in case darkness comes before we are down Silver Canyon (we beat it by about half an hour).

Your author near cache #3, just past Patriarch Grove

The climb just past Patriarch Grove at left, to an intermediate small summit.

Looking back at the climb just past the turnoff to Patriarch Grove

Topping out at mile ~21.6, one gets the first good view of White Mountain Peak.

View of White Mountain Peak from minor summit past Patriarch Grove, mile ~21.6

Traversing the long U-shaped dip is rather fun, then crest a minor summit before hanging a left down to a low point, then resuming climbing the highlands to the locked gate.

The moonscape about 1/3 of the way from Patriarch Grove to the Barcroft research station, mile ~21

After a few more miles, the locked gate at parking area at mile ~25.0 comes into view. From there, it is a few miles to the Barcroft research station, steep at first, but then mellowing out.

The locked gate before Barcroft appears at mile ~25.0

The locked gate through which only official traffic to the Barcroft Facility is allowed to pass. Everyone else must park here and hike, except for 2 special days during the summer.

The locked gate barring the way to the USC Barcroft research station
Photo by Geoffrey Faraghan
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