Humboldt County High Point Trip Report

Salmon Mountain

Date: June 30, 2003
Author: Aaron Maizlish

I climbed Salmon Mountain with my son Leo, age 2 1/2. It's a perfect day hike.

Directions are exactly right in Gary Suttle's book. You turn off Highway 96 just North of Orleans, immediately after the bridge over the Klamath River. It's 17 miles up the hill on 10N01. The road is mostly paved, but a long stretch of rough dirt at 1.5 miles fooled me into thinking I was on the wrong road. 2WD passable.

From the trailhead, you can walk to the left past some horse pens and follow the crest for a few hundred feet, or you can bushwhack about 500 feet on an overgrown trail to find the main trail. The hike itself is a pretty mellow climb up to the ridge and then to the right a few miles to Salmon Mountain. As mentioned in Suttle's book the last 300 feet of climbing is cross-country, and it took me a little while to assess where best to ascend with a child on my back. Where Suttle draws the cross-country route is mostly forested, so we went a bit farther on the trail and found an open meadow to climb; ascending near the tri-county point.

The day was clear and hot and we had a fantastic view. Thompson Peaks in the Trinity Alps forms a beckoning massif to the southeast. Mt. Eddy and Mt. Shasta are in alignment to the east; Shasta beckons on my event horizon. A great view of the Klamath, Trinity and Salmon watersheds.

The previous entry in the summit log was from Adam Helman, 360 days earlier. I was pleasantly surprised to read the NGS datum information that Richard Carey had left in the register. The peak has been resurveyed as 6,962 feet; gaining six feet (actually the 6,956 BM was always 2.5 feet below the summit).

Why should one care? Salmon Mountain previously had a clean prominence of 1,996 +80; putting the peak in the much maligned (see prominence discussion) error range category of peaks that don't quite, but maybe, make the 2,000 foot cutoff. The addition of six feet gives it 2,002 feet of clean prominence, placing this mountain firmly in the pantheon of 2,000 footers.

Trip statistics: Round-trip hiking distance 7 miles; elevation gain 1,600 ft.
Prominence: 2,002 ft