Garfield County Highpoint Trip Report

Dates: June 22 and July 2, 2006
Author: Adam Helman

This effort was part of a larger journey collecting Idaho, Montana, and Washington county highpoints in late June and early July 2006.

FR40 ("Pomeroy Grouse Road") and called "Peola Road" south of Pomeroy is an excellent means of accessing both the Asotin and Garfield County highpoints. It is broad and allows 40 m.p.h. travel for most of the distance from pavement.

From Pomeroy drive south on 15th Avenue. The road winds four miles south, and continues for eleven more miles (as "Peola Road") prior to entering the Umatilla National Forest. Now as FR40, it is approximately 17 additional miles to a critical road junction from which one accesses both the Asotin and Garfield highpoints.

For Asotin County, drive 0.15 mile west to this junction and bear left (south). The Asotin County highpoint is just one road mile south of this junction.

For Garfield County, drive 0.15 mile to the same junction but bear right onto FR4030. After 5 miles encounter the a trailhead signed for Misery Peak. In truth you have already driven the north perimeter of Misery Peak; and Diamond Peak is one-half mile immediately west. The road veers right (north) at this trailhead and continues one-half mile farther north and west to a camping area that I originally mistook for the true trailhead.

On June 22 I drove FR4030 until a fallen tree blocked progress one-half mile before the true trailhead. After an eleven-point turn (the rental's wheelbase nearly as long as the road's breadth), I shouldered my daypack and headed past the trailhead, still on FR4030, to a "parking area" one-half mile north and west thereof which doubles as a camping location. I thought this was the actual trailhead - one that had tall snowdrifts on the shaded, north slopes of Diamond Peak.

The trail was not found. I was looking at 3+ miles of sidehilling in mushy snow with neither ice axe nor glacier glasses. I abandoned the effort with a theoretical "red" on my completion map.

On July 1 I returned to FR4030 near the end of my two week highpointing trip. The road was cleared of deadfall, and the next morning I hiked to both possible Garfield County highpoints without snow-related issues from the proper trailhead, again, one-half mile east of Diamond Peak and at a bend in the road as it turns from west to north.