Washington County High Point Trip Report

Date: July 18, 2003
Author: Bill Jacobs

I tried the Saddle Mountain route as described in Ken Jones' report but had no luck. The main road dumps into a maze of logging roads that leads to a loss of orientation. On retracing my steps, I found where I thought the Saddle Mountain Road went off the main road but it had a large ditch dug across it.

I returned to a point 2.3 miles from Highway 6 where Saddle Mountain Road and Beaver Dam Road split. Following the Beaver Dam Road (University Falls/Stagecoach Horse Camp sign) is almost at direct shot to the highpoint with less chance of getting lost. (About a half a mile down the road I encountered a work crew laying drainage pipes. "You are not planning on closing down this road are you??" They answered, "Not for another two hours; then it will be shut down for a week."

I made it back there in one hour including jogging up both summits. The threat of isolation in the Oregon boonies certainly can stoke the adrenaline. Beaver Dam finally links up with Saddle Mountain Road at a wide-open intersection. Turn right and shortly thereafter turn left on a lesser road leading to Saddle Mountain.

Where the road crests is the saddle between the two areas. The summit to the northeast had the remnants of a house chimney at the far end of the contour and seemed also to be near the highest point a few feet further to the northeast. If you are in a hurry, the southwest summit can be blitzed straight ahead but I suspect the gated, winding road to the top is a more pleasant experience.

Northwest Oregon is an intense logging area, particularly in the approaches to the Yamhill, Tillamook, and Washington COHPs - all of which I got to today, as well as Benton and Columbia. Loggers radio their positions to each other on CB Channel 18 using the mileage markers (square yellow signs posted on trees). They are usually expecting a clear road ahead and your presence is a source of displeasure. If you have a CB, it could come in handy. A foreman told me, and my experience bore this out, the logging trucks tend to be more courteous but the dump trucks are a breed of another color (and another gender, in one case). They hardly slow down for oncoming traffic and expect you to get out of their way.