Crook County High Point Trip Report

Lookout Mountain (6,926 ft)

Date: June 21, 2003
Author: Dean Molen

Bob Bolton and I had planned to climb South Sister this day and had camped out at a campground that was close to the trailhead. Unfortunately, we picked a truly lousy day as it rained and snowed on us during the night and the wind chill factor was not in our favor. Clouds were down low so we took a rain check on this one. It'll be there next week so we opted for the "let's do it another day" attitude and headed back to the Bend/Redmond area for a nice breakfast (yummmm - cheese omelette and hash browns).

Bob dropped me off at my vehicle and went on his way back to Vancouver while I headed east on Highway 126 to Prineville. From Prineville, I drove US 26 east for 17 miles and near milepost 35, turned right on the Ochoco Creek road (FS23), driving 8 - 9 miles to the Ochoco Ranger station (campground available). I continued past the ranger station to a fork with FS 42 and taking a right, followed it uphill until it comes to a saddle (7 miles from the ranger station ) where the Round Mountain TH road (FS 4205) goes uphill to the right. I kept right and nursed my Honda up the often rough and narrow road to a trailhead at 5,900 feet.

I parked and took the Lookout Tie trail (808A) and followed it all the way to the summit. I would estimate it is about 1.6 miles to the top (summit is not an accurate word here as the highpoint is a slightly higher spot along a very long escarpment. I walked the ridge in both directions and came back to the spot where I felt the high spot was, just about 15 feet east from where the original benchmark once was. Some vandal had ripped it out of its cement encasement.

There is obviously a lot of dirt bike activity as I saw a lot of tire tracks as well as places where horses had pretty much torn up the trail. The view is grand but I could see nothing back towards the Cascade volcanoes. Once again during this trip, the weather started getting nasty and not wanting to be up on top during an electrical storm, I beat a hasty retreat.

I was met at the end of the trail by a huge Rotweiler that wanted to make me his lunch but as always, the beer drinking owner said "It's OK, Bruno doesn't bite". Yeah right. The owner and his four buddies started up the trail that I had just come down. I didn't mention the bad weather up on top; they deserved to discover that for themselves.

Elevation gain 1000 feet, 3.2 miles round trip.

A great little hike and it'd be nice to go back on a decent day. I pointed my Honda homeward after crossing Grant county off my "to do" list for the day as I could see thunderheads over in that general direction.

GPS-derived coordinates, NAD27 datum - (44.32711° N, 120.37192° W)

I have a few pictures posted of this county.