Breckenridge Mountain

  • Breckenridge Mountain
  • 2310 m
  • Primary factor 1011 m
  • California, USA.
  • Location: North 35.45071, West 118.58456 (GPS on the summit.)
  • Difficulty: YDS class 3 (summit rock only)
  • Climbed September 16. 2018


How to get there:
There is one long paved road (south of Hwy. 178) connecting Bakersfield to the valley that separates Breckenridge Mountain from Piute Peak. This road is named Breckenridge Road, locate it and drive, this description assumes that you start in Bakersfield.
Continue to location N35.47179, W118.57552, elevation about 2030 meter. This is the correct turn-off, a dirt road goes all the way to the summit. One should likely have a 4WD or at least good clearance to drive this road.
Route description:
As you arrive on the main crest, the road turns left and continues a short stretch to a small parking area in front of a locked gate. On the way there, hyoiu pass two summit humps located on your left side. They both have antennas and signs asking you to stay outside/away. Behind the locked gate a short road/trail leads to a third point with an old fire lookout tower.
Because of dense forest with big trees it is very difficult to determine the relative heights of these three humps. The map may point to the middle hump, this may have been levelled a bit when they constructed the antenna facility. On the other hand, the pointed rock near the fire lookout is most likely not taken into account when viewing the contours on the map. Just before you arrive at the fire-lookout you will see this very tall rock among the trees on your left. This is clearly the highest point on this hump and one should climb it. The easiest route is up on the back side, YDS class 3.
I left my motel in Bakersfield shortly before dawn, then wasted a few minutes while finding a convenience store that could sell me a small breakfast.
The next task was to locate the beginning of Breckenridge Road. This was easy, driving after a preset GPS waypoint.
After a long drive along Breckenridge Road, I turned right onto a dirt (Jeep) road at location N35.47641, W118.62601, elevation 1680 meter. I had seen on the maap that this road lead to the summit. However, the turn-off described above is much shorter and convenient if the summit is your goal. I had a long, but fairly nice drive along this dirt road before arriving at the summit ridge.
The summit ridge has 3 humps that are about equal in elevation. The two first have access restrictions due to antenna installations. I visited all 3 with the following observations: The first hump has its highest point among some rocks, perhaps best approached from the road between the two humps. This is near location N35.45308, W118.59096, my GPS read 2304 meter, a pretty good indication that this hump is the lowest of the three.
The middle hump can be accessed by a short uphill road that forks off sharply left. This road ends between the fenced in hump with antennas and a large boulder on your right. Climbing this boulder (class 3), one can see across the antenna hump, thus this boulder is a nice (legal) point to climb, almost as high as the antenna complex.. My GPS reaad 2309 meter on this top. One may also access the hump itself by first going a bit right, then climb the slope just outside of the fence. In this way one reach a point where you clearly see across tthe installation site. You are now as high as any point inside the area enclosed by a fence. This locagtion is N35.45131, W118.58718, my GPS showed 2310 meter.
Finally, one should visit the third hump with the fire lookout. Here, there is a pretty impressive and quite tall summit rock. I climbed it from the back side and measured its location to N35.45071, W118.58456, with an elevation of 2310 meter, that is as high as the antenna complex on the center hump. It would indeed be nice if this rock indeed uniquely defined the highest point on Breckenridge Mountain.
All this survey work took about one hour. I then drove the shorter road back to the paved road and contined down into the valley in order to access Piute Peak.