Hike to Summit of Boundary Peak – 18.3 miles
Yesterday I woke up at around 7, made some oatmeal and coffee and packed up everything that I would need to camp at Queen Mine. The plan was to leave a bag behind to reduce weight and try to bike up to Queen Mine where I would either hike to Boundary Peak or wait until the next day depending on how I felt and the weather.
Once I started biking I quickly realized I probably wouldn’t make it all the way up to Queen Mine. The road was just too rough and steep and after about 2 miles I called it quits. I was expending more energy trying to bike it than what it was worth. I stashed my bike and all my bags except for a day pack. I brought 2.5 liters of water and good amount of food with me, because I knew it was going to be about 16 miles round trip to the summit. By the time I started hiking it was already around 930. The skies were clear which was good because I likely wouldn’t reach the summit until after noon which is prime time for afternoon thunderstorms.
Along the way to Queen Mine I passed a few abandoned mining buildings.
There were all kinds of relics from the time when this area was an active mine all over the place. I understand mining is an essential activity to many of the technologies we enjoy, but it made me glad that there are protected spaces out there, because it really does make things look a bit like a dump.
As I continued up you could look back and see the route that I followed up. It was really cool being able to see how far I had come because from the start the hike looked really daunting.
After hiking up from Queen Mine to the trail head there was a long relatively flat section. By this time I could tell that I didn’t bring enough water, so I started to conserve in hope that I could still make it to the peak.
The picture below is looking back at my route as I started to climb the scree that is at the base of the false summit of Boundary Peak. If you look closely you can see the trail that I took to get there.
The last portion of the climb was littered with loose rock and as I approached the summit I started getting a killer dehydration headache. Close enough to see the peak I kept climbing and made it to the top sometime just after noon.
I wrote a note in the register and then turned back. Only spent 20 minutes or so at the top due to the shortage of water. I was beginning to feel pretty terrible and I knew the walk back to where I stashed my bike was going to be long.
The hike down was littered with slips and trips, and I had finished my water by the time I was at Queen Mine. My feet were pounding, I was out of food, out of water, and I still had about 3 miles to go to get to my bike. I finished out the hike in excruciating pain and a terrible headache. When I got back to my bike I laid down, took my shoes off, ate food, and drank a bunch of water. Once I was feeling a little better I made pretty much all the food I had and contemplated where to camp for the night. I had touched base with a Warmshowers host in Benton, CA, only about 15 miles away, but the thought of more physical activity was anything but appealing. I decided to ride out to where the water was stashed and camp near the highway and finish out the ride to Benton in the morning.