A Special to longcamp.com

A Visit to Hawks Peak
Darrell Boyle, Gabilan Cattle Company

August 8, 2008

Hi Bob,

Yesterday I visited Yates Peak with landowner Ron Stoney, his son Dave, and neighbor Paul Benoit.

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 sharpshooters.

Although 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 spyglass.

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.

View Larger Map

You can navigate on this embedded Google® 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 directly north.

Facts more terrible than thunder!
Lightning, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions!
A complete examination of the Hawks Peak incident of March 1846

©1999, 2007
Bob Graham