04-Jul-2019 -- Before returning from Reno to my home in the San Francisco Bay Area (to conclude this trip through the western U.S.), I decided to revisit this Degree Confluence Point that I’d previously visited almost 9 years ago, in September 2010. I remembered this point being in a spectacular location, so I was looking forward to getting a drone’s-eye view. I was also eager to avoid repeating the mistake that I’d made back in 2010.
To summarize, there are basically two ways to approach this point: The “strenuous" route, and the "easier-but-4WD” route. The “strenuous” route approaches the point from the Southwest. This route - which requires about 1700 feet of climbing - was the route taken by Butler in 2001, Kerski in 2003, and by me in 2010. The "easier-but-4WD” route - taken by Fleming in 2004, Hodges and Steuer in 2007, and Frickey and Corrigan in 2008 - requires a 4WD vehicle, but leads to a much easier hike, with much less climbing. To take this route, you must turn East at the junction at [39.98946,-120.03519]. This time, I made sure to take this route.
After a lot of slow climbing (in my 4WD SUV), I ended up parking at a junction at [40.01140,-120.00819], at an elevation of about 6020 feet, about 1 mile ('as the crow flies’) from the point. (It turns out that I could have continued driving on another doubletrack road - past the “Willow Spring” area - which passes less than 0.5 miles from the point.) I hiked around the eastern side of the hill (containing the point), to reach the point with only about 300 feet of climbing.
The point lies on the South-facing slope of a hill, at an elevation of about 6240 feet. (The summit of the hill is about 300 feet higher, so I was able to fly over it with my drone.) The point looks exactly the same as I remembered it from my previous visit. Unfortunately the annoying rock cairn (with a geocache box) is still there, but I was able to put the cairn to some use, by using it as a launching pad for my drone.
Here is a remote-controlled aerial video of this confluence point.