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Hikes on Guam: My Failed Attempt to Climb Mt. Schroeder

Basic Information

  • Name: Mt. Schroeder
  • Elevation: 1,057 feet / 322 m
  • Distance: 1.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 163 feet
  • Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • More Information: Peakery.com

Picture from the Sella to Cetti Bay Trail Hike

Topographic Map of the Hike

Mt. Schroeder Topo Map

Narrative

The American island of Guam is not well known for having scenic mountain vistas, but that doesn’t mean the island isn’t without some nice mountains to check out.  Arguably the most scenic mountain on all of Guam is Mt. Schroeder located near the southern end of the island outside of Merizo:

I have been wanting to hike up this mountain and recently had time off combined with good weather to attempt this hike.  My guidebook listed this hike as only being one mile roundtrip from the trailhead; so I was thinking this was going to be a pretty easy hike.  How wrong I ended up ultimately being.  I should have known my day wasn’t going to go very well when I could not even reach the trailhead.  The trailhead for this hike is located just outside of Merizo on to Cruze Ave. The street was easy to find since it begins at the historical Spanish priest’s house in the middle of town.  I drove up the road passed the school until I next took a left on to Dometro Quinene Meno St.  After a short distance the street turns into a dirt road backdropped by Mt. Schroeder:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

The dirt road leads to the Trans World Radio office:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

Trans World Radio is a Christian broadcasting station that maintains a massive antenna farm on Guam.  On the right side of the office there is a dirt road that leads further up the hill:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

My little Hyundai could not handle the mud on the dirt road and it was sliding everywhere:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

So I carefully backed up and parked at the Trans Word Radio office and walked up the road to the trailhead.  All along the road there were plenty of warning signs telling people to stay away from the radio towers:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

Besides having good views of the radio towers I also had some nice views of Mt. Schroeder as I walked up the dirt road:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

At the end of the dirt road there is one large broadcasting tower on top of a hill that designates the trailhead for the Mt. Schroeder hike:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

From this solitary radio tower I had a sweeping view of the antenna farm below the hill:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

From the radio tower there is a obvious trail that leads towards Mt. Schroeder:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

In front of me could see the ridgeline that I would need to follow to reach the summit of Mt. Schroeder:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

The hike seemed pretty straight forward, I just needed to find the ridge trail.  So I continued to follow the main trail towards the ridgeline:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

At the ridgeline from the main trail I had some really good views of southern Guam to include looking out over the nearby Philippine Sea:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

Here is the view looking north towards the highest point on Guam, Mt. Lamlam:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

You can read more about my prior hike up Mt. Lamlam at the below link:

I walked around the ridgeline trying to find a trail without success:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

I walked back down the main trail and decided to follow a trail that went into a field of swordgrass to see where it leads:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

The trail stopped where it was easy to tell many people had just stopped fighting through the swordgrass and cut towards the ridgeline instead:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

To get to the ridgeline I had to fight through a tremendous amount of swordgrass:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

I was wearing long pants, a wind breaker, gloves and a hat I could pull down to cover most of my head.  I looked like I was ready to climb a Colorado 14er and not a thousand foot peak on a tropical island.  However, I needed all this clothing to protect my skin from the cuts the swordgrass makes to exposed skin.  Fighting through the swordgrass was extremely difficult, but I eventually reached the trees along the ridgeline:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

Walking through the jungle was better than the swordgrass, but now I had to deal with spider webs.  There were spider webs everywhere that I knocked down using a large stick I found on the ground:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

On the ridgeline there is really no trail other than a few orange tape markers on trees:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

I followed the markers, but they do not lead to any trail.  Instead I just battled through more brutally thick swordgrass.  I really wished I brought a machete with me because this was the thickest swordgrass I have had to dealt with on Guam.  To make matters worse I was traversing on a narrow ridge where one misstep could lead to a nasty fall:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

On the ridgeline the jungle and the swordgrass was so thick here was the only view I saw the entire time:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

The rest of the time I saw this:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

And even more of this:

Picture from Mt. Schroeder, Guam

It was difficult and slow going hiking on this ridge that required a lot of caution where every footstep is placed.  I slid once on a steep section of muddy dirt, but fortunately grabbed hold of a tree.  The steep and muddy sections required a lot of care to cross.  To make matters worse it was very hot out and I was wearing a lot of clothing due to the swordgrass.  So I was drinking a lot of water, but still felt thirsty because of how much I was sweating.

Then finally something happened that forced me to call it quits for the day.  As I was fighting through the swordgrass I walked right into a hive of wasps that are called locally “boonie bees”.  The wasps swarmed me and I was covered in them.  Thank goodness I had all the clothes on that I did.  I avoided being stung, but I ran backwards the best I could covered in wasps and slid down the ridge a short way to get away from them.  I crawled back up the ridge to try and find a way around the hive and I could not locate any way to get around it.  The hive was located in the swordgrass on a very narrow section of the ridgeline with steep drop offs on each side.  I decided it was time to call it a day and turn around and head back to the car.  I did not want to fight through those wasps again to reach the summit.  Plus I would have to fight through them again to get back down.  I figured I was lucky to not get stung the first time and did not want to press my luck.  Turning around on mountains can sometimes be hard, but this one was a no brainer for me.

Conclusion

Ultimately it just ended up being one of those days where it was just wise to turn around on this hike.  I do plan to attempt it again in a few weeks when hopefully the bee hive is washed away by a storm.  I also plan to bring someone else with me because of the risk involved of slipping on the ridgeline and sustaining an injury.  It would also be nice to have multiple people with machetes to help break through the swordgrass instead of fighting through like I did on this hike.  This hike may be short, but be warned that it is not easy.

Click here to find more hikes at the Guam Regional Trail Finder

2 Comments
  1. Dobbs

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