East Ord Mtn. is a volcanic desert peak overlooking the Lucerne Valley between Victorville and Joshua Tree. It is slightly shorter than its neighbor, Ord Mtn., but is nevertheless the most prominent mountain in the range. The Ord Mountains were named for Major General E. O. C. Ord who led the first official survey of Los Angeles. Finding the remote trailhead is half the fun of this short but steep cross-country jaunt. Despite its short length, the trip is not recommended for inexperienced desert travelers. The summit offers outstanding 360° views of snowcapped ranges and desert basins on a clear winter day, from San Gorgonio in the south to the Panamint Mountains to the north. The mountain overlooks the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area; the incessant whine of dirt bikes and ATVs can detract from the wilderness experience.
© 2012 David & Jennifer Money Harris/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.