Umatilla County High Point Trip Report

Tower Mountain (6,850 ft)

Date: June 20, 2003
Author: Dean Molen

Driving down from Kennewick via Pendleton and U.S. 395, I went east on OR- 244 from Ukiah. After passing a turn off for Lehman Hot Springs, I turned south on FS 5226 towards Frazier Campground. The road continued past the campground and soon after passing C.G. Frazier station, the road came to a fork. No signage was present but my choice to turn to the right turned out to be the correct one. Contrary to an earlier report, I found no signs (probably thanks to some individual who removed them) after this fork but my GPS indicated I was heading the right direction after a sweeping curve that first went west and then returned to a southerly direction. I found the road to be very rocky in places where I had to exercise caution in my Honda Accord and very narrow in other places with no turn outs available. I would hate to meet a vehicle coming from the opposite way in some of these places. Fortunately I had picked a day when no one would be interested in the views as low clouds and fog were the order of the day. After 12 miles I came to the Lookout Tower, just barely visible in the fog. I parked at the small parking area and explored the area. The bench mark at the base of the very lofty lookout tower, was a little lower than the surrounding ground and so I made certain to cover the area totally, which was easy to do.

No one was present on this day and so I had the area to myself. After about twenty minutes, I got back in my car and continued on south, marveling over the extremely narrow and often rocky road in some areas. At one point, several trees were hooked together just above the roadway, which I had no problem driving under but I wouldn't have wanted to have been driving a camper. The 8.4 miles to FS52 was uneventful as I didn't meet even one vehicle on the whole 20 plus miles of the road. If you drive a passenger car as I did, just drive carefully and don't be in a hurry and you'll be just as successful as I was.

I continued on towards my next CoHP which would be Spanish Peak in Wheeler County.

I have a few pictures posted in my Oregon 2003 album here

GPS Coordinates - NAD27 datum: (45.05444° N, 118.56779° W)