By: Bob Michael
South of the Mountain Pass Mine and our listed Clark Mountain are the Mescal Range and Ivanpah Mountains, an area of high-desert hills that appear on no Lists. The most distinctive peak in this area is the bizarrely-named Kokoweef Peak, a long hogback ridge formed by a massive north-south-trending, vertically dipping lime-stone bed. The peak is reached by taking the Bailey Road exit off 1-15 at Mountain Pass and turning south. After crossing over the freeway, the paved road heads due east, parallelling the Interstate for half a mile before turning south. Pavement ends at this turn; the very good dirt road climbs to the range divide via a wash. Although a bit narrow and steep, this road is suitable for most any car. About 4 mile south of the crest, veer left on another excellent dirt road to the obvious start of the route at the north end of the Kokoweef ridge; good parking here. No point in calling attention to yourself by venturing a bit farther into the small inhabited settlement just to the west at the former Kokoweef Mine. (Apparently there was also a tourist attraction called the "Kokoweef Caverns" here. Quite plausible, because of all the limestone bedrock in the area.) One always wonders about these isolated settlements -- probably just plain folks looking for peace, quiet, clean air and low-rent living, and not the survivalists, UFO abductees, and meth-lab operators of one's unbridled Imagination.The simple Class 1-2 route goes almost due south up the hogback of gray to white limestone, with ever-growing views to the south and east of the great "backbone" range of the Mojave encircling the Ivanpah Valley to the east and south; beginning as the McCullough range just south of Vegas, it becomes, in succession, the Castle Peaks, New York Mountains, Mid Hills, and Providence Mountains before its final flourish as the Granite Mountains down by I-40. The views of the Clark massif are also Impressive. One of the delights of exploring these unlisted peaks are the fresh and different perspectives you get of our nearby old friends on the List!
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