Both peaks are located in the Mojave desert, east of Palmdale, west of Interstate 15, and south of Edwards Air Force Base. Three points summer bonus for SOTA!
Drove up the 14 freeway, made my way to Palmdale Blvd where I headed east, then south on 235th Street for 1.4 miles on a good dirt road, then right to the base of Black Butte (3581 ft, W6 ND-311) where there is plenty of room to park at this informal shooting range, littered with shot gun shells! Black Butte has been activated once before, by Dan NA6MG.
Joshua Trees at dawn
Lots of shooting activity here, none at this hour on this Friday. Temp about 70F/10C
Up the obvious ridge to the summit, took about a half hour. There is a very rough firebreak/4WD road to the summit, I suppose you could drive to the summit if you wanted. I think the “road” goes left along the base of the peak on the southwest side from the parking area, then up the south ridge. I hiked up the west ridge
The “road”and the Three Sisters
Saddleback Butte to the north
San Gabriel Mountains to the south
At this early hour, not as much activity as there would be a few hours later
Nicer view of the Three Sisters
Then the hike down, I was farther right than I wanted to be, so went down a steeper section, not the ridge I came up. The rocks demanded some care but it was OK
Jeep parked down below
Then about a 50 minute drive over to the Shadow Mountains: east on Palmdale to 240th, then north to Avenue J, west to 200th, then north to Avenue G, then east on Ave G. This becomes Shadow Mountains Road, there are a few doglegs but the road is very smooth, good for driving. They must grade it a lot. No washboarding.
Turned left on the rougher road to Shadow Mountains High Point (4120 ft, W6 ND-270). Someone has bought the property at the turn; used to be abandoned but they are building a new house there. About a half mile up the road, parked at the obvious spot just before the road diverges; left to Shadow, right to the USAF comm installation on a lower summit
Shadow HP, with derelict comm site up there. A 20 minute walk
Glad I left the 2WD Jeep where it was. You could take a high clearance 4WD up the road but it was rough in places
I was able to set up in the shade! It was about 90F/32C by this time.
Bands were much more active now
SOTA Peak 3996 SD-463 is the second hump from the right, activated by Dan NA6MG
Big Joshua Tree on Shadow Mountains Road. Lots of driving today but it was nice, little traffic on good paved and dirt roads.
73! Hal N6JZT