Tony Krizan

A strenuous but rewarding hike to ‘Slick Rock’

How many of us have heard of the mountain above Bass Lake called “Slick Rock?” When I first moved into Oakhurst in 1989, this was the mountain I saw during the early morning looking across my deck through my bedroom sliding doors. The contrast between the sun peaking over the forest covered peak and the slick rock face was a rewarding way to start my day.

During those early years in Oakhurst any research pertaining to that mountain was not a priority. But in the back of my mind I often thought of climbing to its peak - maybe the view from the top would be impressive.

Most of us have a bucket list which consists of those places we want to see or things we want to do before our time runs out.

While driving on Road 222 toward Bass Lake one afternoon I glanced out my vehicles window and to the left was Slick Rock. Instantly I said to myself; I have to remove that mountain from my bucket list. Well here I am 26 years later and I’m finally standing on top of Slick Rock. and here is my story?

I thought a full day hike would be involved in this adventure. So I looked at my topographic map and was I in for a surprise? My original thinking was to hike up to Chepo Saddle then hike east cross country and climb to the top. But my map showed me an easier route. Possibly some 80 years ago a road was cut to the top of the mountain on the back side. If that road is still passable that will be my route.

Take Highway 41 north to Sky Ranch Road and follow it to Road 6S18 on the right. Follow this road as it climbs the mountain to the next junction and turn right on 6S88. Once again this mountain dirt road will wind through a recent logging area. A high clearance two-wheel drive can make this drive to the summit, but be careful of one rough area about 100 yards from the summit. Estimate one hour driving time from Oakhurst to this scenic view.

Great view of Bass Lake and one can see the scares left last year by the Junction and Courtney Fires. The best views are to hike through the brush down to and just above the face of Slick Rock. This is the ideal area for the photo opportunity.

I would classify this hike as strenuous. Hiking back to the summit through the brush and trees will require some off trail skills, but it’s a great adventure in our own back yard.