Decided to do the P3 trail, traverse to Web Mountain, connect with Dirty Harry’s Peak trail and loop back to the Ira Spring Trail Head. The trail starts out as advertised, and upon the junction with the DHB trail, cuts up to the right for about four switchbacks, gaining in elevation and steepness. The trail gradually steepens, trekking poles and hands are useful, until above the treeline, the grade lessens and there is a nice uphill hike up rock and heather to the summit. Wildflower are blooming and the field is full of bear grass, similar to the hike up Bandera Mountain.
The trail is challenging, very similar in steepness and quality to the old Mailbox Peak trail. It was cloudy and foggy and visibility was limited near the top. The dropoff at the other side of the peak ridge is steep. No summit register was located. We opted to go for Web Mountain, keeping mostly left of the ridge, sometimes walking the ridge. There is a faint trail at times, and the rocks and heather provide a decent route to Web Mountain, the summit attained by keeping left of the major summit blocks and scampering up. There is a register there and it was signed.
We opted to continue, and found a gully route (followed breadcrumbs using the Cairn app which was helpful given the limited visibility – about 200 feet), and descended a series of talus slopes and steep dirt along with the forested parts (~1500 feet descent) until we descended upon a small lake that feeds the Granite lakes and eventually connects with the Web Mountain trail, finally connecting to the Dirty Harry’s Peak trail – a boot path. We missed the initial trail, and bushwacked for a few hundred yards until finding the path down – the reverse route would be interesting to follow, and find a better route up Web Mountain. Route finding was challenging and we generally went down the talus slopes toward the lake – with better visibility, this would have been much easier.
Overall a great route, as we are seeking a traverse from Mailbox to Defiance and beyond. I highly recommend the PPP trail and summit. A great trail in the fog and will be great in better weather. Be ready for a challenging hike. There are links to my AllTrails recording, all photos of the route, and a link to my Peakery report. Enjoy.