Lincoln County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: November 11, 2007
Author: Richard Carey

We followed the trip reports by Dean Molen and Bob Bolton and drove west on highway 18 from Sheridan, Oregon. The turnoff is at Murphy Summit. The road isn't marked, but the pass is. The gate for Murphy Road was open since this was hunting season so we proceeded south in our rented Hyundai. In spite of recent rains the road was packed and in good condition for our small sedan. We were doing fine until we encountered a locked gate after 7.1 miles. The sign next to it said foot travel only beyond that point. UTM there was: (441952 E, 4981808N) Zone 10, NAD27 datum. This meant we would have to hike to both possible highpoints so we decided to do the eastern one which looked closer.

A short distance south of the gate is the junction where one would split to go to both highpoints. We went left which descended to the east in a vast clear-cut area. At the bottom we spotted two hunters on a fork going east and we went south. Then there appeared a sign "No Trespassing" from the Stimson Lumber Company. Looks like this summit had turned into a "stealth hike". There was no activity so we continued on to the saddle west of the 3,401 foot summit and hiked up a trail. It was cold and windy on top, but we left a nice register on the western bump in the rocks. We got back to the car late in the day and had to leave. We'll have to return for the other peak.

With the locked gate the eastern peak is 5.8 miles round-trip with a total gain of about 1,250 feet. If the gate is locked the western summit on Saddle Bag Mountain is going to be about 7 miles round-trip with 1300 feet of gain.