Wheeler County High Point Trip Report

Spanish Peak (6,871 ft)

Date: June 20, 2003
Author: Dean Molen

Continuing on down from Umatilla county, I drove U.S. 395 and at the junction with U.S. 26, I headed west towards Dayville. At 25 miles west of Dayville and 13 miles east of Mitchell, look for FS 12, heading south. The first 7 miles are paved with nice turnouts and you make very good time. After 7 miles, the road turns to gravel and this is where Ken Jones' and Trapper Robbins' directions came in real handy.

Quoting Trapper Robbins, "Drive FS12 to junction with FR1250 (15.3 miles). Turn left (east) on FR1250 and continue to FR38 (19.2 miles). Turn left on FR38 and drive to junction with spur #200 (24.0 miles). Turn left (north) and follow this somewhat rough, dusty road to the top (29.3 miles). This last road (#200) is a bit rough in a few places but we were able to drive to the top in a Subaru Outback at dusk with no problem."

You need to recognize that where road #200 turns north, there is another road (FS 5810) that goes right to Boeing Field (not the Seattle one). I almost didn't see the small sign indicating road 200 but when I did (right in the middle of a driving rainstorm), I realized that I had some slow driving ahead of me. The road is very rocky in places and I had to exercise extreme caution in getting my Accord safely around every sharp and protruding rock or rut. It took more time than I wanted but when I finally was about a mile short of the summit (GPS miles), I ran into a snow bank that blocked further progress. I carefully backed my car down the road and got it turned around.

I then hoofed it up the road, past the snow bank and the rest of the way to the summit of Spanish Peak. The summit area revealed that a lookout of some sort had been there in previous times and, as I tromped the area, I found one area to the west that appeared to be slightly higher. Be sure to cover the whole plateau area of the summit. Nice views in all directions. I now wish I had taken more pictures but I wanted to get back down to the vehicle and out of the area as some more storm clouds were rolling in.

Notes: I had cell phone service on the peak. I did see a bear as I drove along FR 1250. When it saw me, it took off in bear hyperspeed, foiling my attempt to get a picture.

GPS-derived coordinates, NAD27 datum - (44.40767° N, 119.77378° W)

I have a few pictures posted of this county.