Yesterday I visited Yates Peak with
landowner Ron Stoney, his son Dave, and neighbor
We wholeheartedly concur with Fred Rogers'
1959 conclusion* for Yates. There is nothing like
standing on a site to understand. What Rogers
termed the "military crest " 200 yards north of the
summit of Yates would have been the best place to
both watch Castro at San Juan and to defend from an
attack. It would only take a few sentries to make a
surprise attack virtually impossible--they would
have been completely exposed to the the American
Frémont had a large telescope as part of his
portable transit instrument, our original
photograph was zoomed 8X to approximate the 8X to
10X magnified view of the common 19C pocket
We looked around for an hour or so but
didn't find any evidence of the fort. No trenches
or logs or obvious debris after 162 years. We hope
to make another trip with a metal detector and
explore the ground between the summit of Yates and
the military crest some 200 yards north. I'll
report back any findings.
We explored the route possibilities while up
there, and concluded the southern ridge of Towne
Creek was the best way up to Yates from Gabilan
Creek near the Gomez adobe, and the southern ridge
of Steinbeck Canyon was the best way down to his
next camp made three miles east of San Juan on the
San Benito River.
*Rogers, Fred B.,
Frémont's Gabilan Camp, 1846, the
report of an examination made for the Division
of Parks and Beaches, State of California, 1959.
A photocopy of the original report supplied by
Matt C. Bischoff, Historian III, California
State Parks, Monterey District.
You can navigate on this embedded
map by dragging, zoom
in/out, or change from satellite to
roadmap or terrain imagery. Double-click a
feature to center/zoom it.
The map pins are the sites of the Gomez
adobe and Yates Peak: click on them for
the labels. San Juan is four miles