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Sam’s Throne
October 26, 2003

We accidentally found this awesome area on Mt. Judea while trying to find Sam's Throne, our state's most well-known rock climbing area. In the picture above, the Throne is the conical knob in the background.
We never actually got to Sam's Throne, but we decided that it couldn't be any better than the sandstone bluffline that Charles, Cliff and I hiked on top of.
I'll try to describe it to you: The area is a narrow ridge running North to South. It comes to a point on the South end where you are facing out towards Sam Throne. There is a trail that follows along the East and West  perimeter of this ridge. A typical hike would be to start down the trail on the East side of the ridge, walk south to the point, then walk north along the trail on the West side of the ridge. This trail is usually right on the edge of tall sandstone bluffs, giving breathtaking views. The trail on the West side is particularly nice because it faces out over Big Creek valley, and you can see for miles. Scott Alleger, a climber who has spent a lot of time in the area, has sent me some great information about the spot. He says the southern point is officially named Chicken Head Point, but that he and his friends nicknamed it 'windy point'. He says "Cannot tell you how many times I have climbed at this place, and the countless nights my friends and I have relaxed, starwatching, on the overlook. Just go any night and be prepared for the gales...you can't leave an empty pack laying around or the furies will carry it off into the valley. The large 50ft south facing slab is called 'chicken head wall' due to the hordes of chicken head holds on it."
Scott told me there is a trail that travels directly down the middle of the spine of the ridge, but that use of that trail is discouraged due to erosion concerns. Volunteers including Scott have worked with the forestry service in building environment-friendly trails which circle the perimeter of the ridge and give you much better views.
This place has possibly the best views of any we've seen this year. But because the rim trail is almost always feet away from perilous dropoffs, it is not for small children or pets.
On the morning that we discovered this great place, I didn't get out my camera until we were at the Southern point, so I don't have a single picture of the East side of the ridge. While we were taking it all in a rock climber came down the trail and rappelled down the side of the bluff to his friends who were camped below.
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