Saturday, December 21, 2013

Modjeska Peak via Harding Short-Cuts

Walking the Harding Truck Trail from the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary to the summit of Modjeska Peak (5,496 feet) is around 12 miles one way. Factoring in the 4,000 vertical feet of elevation gain makes that a long, foot-pounding hike. In December 2013, Dave Gillanders and I decided to make the route a little shorter (and more interesting) with three substantial shortcuts.

The three shortcuts are shown on the map below:

The Harding Truck Trail is yellow. The short-cuts are red.

The entrances to the short-cuts are not obvious, so you need to pay close attention. And even though the top short-cut is a maintained trail, both ends are difficult to find from the road.

I should mention that this is not a good route on a hot day. I personally wouldn't even consider doing it if forecasted temperatures were above 80 degrees.

Here are some pics from our hike:

Dave on the first short-cut. 

Dave on the summit. 

Santiago Peak as seen from Modjeska Peak

Heading down the top short-cut. You can see that this one is an actual trail.

1 comment:

Dave B. said...

Thanks for posting this! I was unsure of the best way to take a shortcut to get above Laurel Springs. I was leaning toward the South side, but now I know the North side is doable. There is one small shortcut you guys are missing though! Near the very beginning of the trail, you can hike up the ridge near the water tank and that will take you just about to the beginning of the 2nd shortcut. This seems like its cutting off at least 4 miles and maybe even 5 for the total trip. One day, I might get brave enough to climb the rocky wash below the radio tower and make it even shorter!