Multnomah County High Point Trip Report

Buck Pk (4,751 ft)

Date: July 1998
Author: Ken Jones

This wooded summit, with views of Mt. Hood, is on the City of Portland's Bull Run watershed. According to the Forest Service, the only legal access is via the Pacific Crest Trail, from north or south, and then the marked spur to Buck Peak's summit. Although an off trail approach from the east looks attractively shorter on the map, it is not legal. Portlanders care deeply about the quality of their water; I suspect a trespasser who got caught would be severely fined.

From Hood River, head south on SR 35. At about 5 miles, turn right on Hill Dr. which will turn south in about a mile. In another 1/4 mile turn right on Ehrck, which will become Summit Dr. This will take you to the Hood River Highway, turn left here. In several more miles, at Dee, reach the signed road to Lost Lake (forest route 13) and turn right; when the route 13 loop forks, keep right. In 5 miles, find the Wahtum Lake road (1310) on your right. This is paved to the lake. Take the gravel continuation of the road SW from the lake, staying high at forks until the left fork for Indian Mountain - keep right here. Follow the road until it is closed by a berm; this is near the SW corner of Section 21. A current Mt Hood National Forest map will be useful in following these roads.

For the hike, continue down the road until you pick up the Pacific Crest Trail (it will be below you to the right for a while if you stay on the road, then it will cross the road in a mile or so). Take it to the left where it crosses the road. Stay on the PCT until you find the signed junction of the Buck Peak spur trail on your left at about 5 miles. Follow the spur to the wooded summit. If you wander about, you can find stunning views of Mt. Hood on a clear day.

Round trip is about 12 miles and 2000 vertical feet (estimated).

A hike on the PCT from Lolo Pass to the south can also be used to reach this summit. This route is somewhat longer; perhaps 15 miles RT. This trailhead is easier to access from Portland.