Mendocino County High Point Trip Report

Anthony Peak (6,954 ft)

Date: October 10, 2003
Author: Peter Maurer

This was the second of two peaks bagged on a road trip off of Interstate 5 through northern California (see the Glenn County trip report). The access was as described in Suttle's book, with one exception: The Wells Cabin Campground is not on Forest Road M4, but off on the spur road leading to the summit. If one were to hike it (or run it as I had planned) and left from M4, you'd add a couple of extra miles to the effort. There is a sign at the road junction reading "Anthony Peak - Wells Campground". Turn left onto that road. The road leads past the campground about a mile from the summit and can be driven by passenger car to the top. I think you could Martinize this one, although the original benchmark has been removed and is now at the base of the historic fire lookout.

I decided to Helmanize this one (mainly because I'd been driving for 5 hours and still had 5 more to go and needed the exercise) so I parked just past the campground and ran up the road the rest of the way, which surprised the lookout. He'd seen folks drive up, mountain bike, and even a rare hiker, but never a runner. There's always a first. Gus was the relief lookout, since it was the day off for the regular lookout. He gave me a brief tour of the historic lookout (listed on the National Historic Register) and took my picture, then had me sign the guest register.

The view was spectacular, from the Kings Range along the Pacific coast to Mount Lassen and the northern Sierra. Nearby ridges obscured the view of the Sacramento Valley except for a section near Corning, and the twin peaks of the Yolla Bollys blocked the view of Mt. Shasta. But mile after mile of Coast Range ridges and valleys rolled off to the south and west. Beautiful, rugged country! I asked if one could see the Pacific, and Gus's reply was that he never has, but supposedly on a really clear day it is possible.

After enjoying the run down the mountain back to my vehicle, I completed my loop detour off of I-5 via Forest Road M4, which made a nice loop trip and a fun, 5-hour side trip and adventure from the usually boring drive up or down I-5 through the Sacramento Valley.