Tillamook County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: June 26, 2004
Author: Adam Helman

an alternative hiking route - not recommended

Note: coordinates use the NAD27 datum

I parked my rental vehicle at a relatively level spot on the approach road - about one or two hundred horizontal yards from the locked gate at zone 10 UTM coordinates (456668 E, 5055191 N) - waypoint J8.

Upon walking around the gate, I proceeded up the road trending north (i.e. not the main road trending west), and arrived shortly at a right bend in the road at zone 10 UTM coordinates (456607 E, 5055552 N) - waypoint J11. To the north at this bend was nothing but dense forest.

My intent was to take a trail, indicated on the USGS map, north through this forest to a junction with the road after the latter resumes its northerly track. Said junction is (presumably) at zone 10 UTM coordinates (456709 E, 5056019 N) - waypoint J12. I say "presumably" because I never got there - the trail is completely overgrown and quickly became impossible to follow.

I backtracked to the gate and, in a sense biting the bullet, walked on the main road trending west, then north, for about two miles to a major forest road junction at zone 10 UTM coordinates (456506 E, 5057167 N) - waypoint J13. This junction is northwest of Rogers Peak, and there is no simple route to its summit from there.

I walked east along one road for a few hundred yards, then encountered another "road", now green with overgrown weeds, shown on the USGS topographic map as heading west-southwest from a junction at zone 10 UTM coordinates (456740 E, 50571672 N) - waypoint J15.

I hiked up the latter road, now better called a jeep trail, as it gained a few hundred vertical feet as it turned left (south) around the west slopes of Rogers Peak. When the road finally petered out I took a GPS waypoint and bushwhacked, uphill, in the general direction of the summit, largely using the terrain's gradient as a guide.

The summit was only 700 meters (2,300 feet) away, and some 600 feet higher. What a bushwhack. Lianas, vines, rotted tree remains, you-name-it. That said, it was not as slow-going as some desert hiking with cacti and all manner of succulents waiting for the opportunity to pierce you alive.

I "topped out" only to find that I had reached a subpeak about 400 meters west of the main summit. Descending slightly to the intervening saddle, I encountered a footpath/jeep trail - the one which I should have taken all along. I took the path east and was atop Rogers Peak's main summit in short order.

I ended up returning the route of ascent because, once at the western subpeak the footpath, now heading south, petered out and became useless.

I took a photograph on the main road just above the upper, locked gate as the sun set at nine p.m. - so accounting for the darkened colors.

Incidentally, coming on a weekend, I had no problems with logging trucks.

I had started the hike/climb at 5 p.m. with four hours before sundown. Little did I imagine that I would be using all of that time to summit and return to the red Ford Escort. I drove down the steep approach road by waning light and camped at a gravel pit for the night about two miles from the main highway. I ate supper on the trunk by headlamp and quickly fell asleep on the back seats with soft pillow as head support.