Benton County High Point Trip Report

BM Rattlesnake (3,629 ft)

Date: July 20, 2002
Author: Barney Metz

This is either one of two scenarios, no hike with a difficult drive or a hike with an easier drive. We drove.

Adam Helman and myself approached from the north on WA 241 which is due north of Sunnyside, WA. We went left and east on Lewandowski Road. Note: some of this can be driven in a passenger car, other parts require high clearance. We used four-wheel drive, but with this trip report four-wheel drive would not be necessary unless other factors arise. However, high clearance is highly recommended. This area is cattle ranching and BLM land. It is hard to say where leased land, owned land, and BLM land end and meet. Therefore, best to be respectful of all three. There are numerous roads. You can always see the highpoint as it is the spot on the ridge with three radio antenna sites. I always leave the gates as I found them. There are several cattle fence gates that you go through that I did not write the mileages down for.

Road log (statute miles) -

0.0 From the junction of WA-261 and Lewandowski road head east stay on main gravel road past large canal, houses and large dairy.
1.6 Should be crossing under a ranch sign that says Sulphur Creek Ranch this sign is also posted as private road, stay on main road.
2.4 Should see ranch on right side of road.
3.4 Should be driving through satellite ranching site. Numerous buildings, last thing should pass through is a gate (it was open at the time for us).
      It has the sign that Dale Millsap reports "Whoa, take it easy on the heifers, keep the bulls in!
      Please close the gate after yourself."
3.7 Fork in the road go left no uphill.
4.5 Should hit a metal gate, go through it.
5.5 Fork, go right.

The rest of these directions do not have mileage markers but you will have landmarks to help you navigate. You should be able to see the CoHP, a large set of power lines running north and south, and a road heading up a steep hill under the power lines. From the last fork, follow this road ignoring all other forks until you are at the base of the steep hill under the power lines. You will go through another gate and at the base of the hill, the road will fork. You can go either way but the left fork is much less steep and in better condition. We went up the right and came down the left. Keep climbing up until you are at the top of the main ridge. There will be a large red and white pole at the top. This marks the ridge for you. DO NOT take the first road right and east, take the second road that is slightly over the ridge (about an 1/8th of a mile) on the north and go right and east. This road will take you to the top of BM Rattlesnake.

At the top are three radio towers and facilities. We could not find the cairn mentioned by Stefan Fellar, although we did find the BM. We found plenty of room to turn around at the top. Dale Millsap came the way we did and after surveying the other route from the East, I have no idea which is better.

Evidently we made this one a drive-up!