Distance: 1.4 miles round trip on trail and cross country
Summit Elevation: 2220'
Elevation Gain: 729'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 0.58
Round trip time: 50 minutes
Recommended water: 40 oz.
Parking/Fees: $10 State Parks
After finishing Mt. Russell, I had scoped out some of the other peaks inside Lake Perris State Park. Terri Peak might have been the next highest, but it had no cross country. Armada, while shorter, was mostly a cross country scramble and more in line with the Mt. Russell theme of the day. It was still 100F and I would get no shade or break from the heat on this short hike. I parked at the Regional Indian Museum and took the trail heading to Terri Peak. Very soon, I left the human trail to follow goat trails toward Armada. There were plenty of goat droppings and footprints to keep me going the right way through the scrub. Soon, I hit the ridge and wandered to the right to look at some large boulders, then back the other way to hit Armada. There were three large painted lines around where the benchmark used to be. I had good views of the lake from the south end, but could not see Mt. Russell since Terri Peak was in the way to the north. When I returned to the car, I took a few minutes to cruise through the Indian Museum. It had two friendly state curators who warned me that red diamondback rattlesnakes were around. I told them I was expecting to see snakes on my hikes, but didn't see any. I was quite fine with that. I got a quick tour of the artifacts and stuffed animals and we chatted about hiking conquests before I drove home. On the way back, at the intersection of highway 60 and I-215N, the traffic came to a sudden stop and the third car ahead of me smashed into the back of a pickup truck. I swerved to the left, avoiding a further pile up, but the smell of leaking fluids and smoking brakes lingered. Fortunately, it was only the two vehicles in the crash, as they both limped to side of the freeway for the unpleasantries. When I hit highway 91W, it occurred to me that Mt. Russell had been my 91st Sierra Club peak.
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