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.