Pacific County High Point Trip Report

Date: September 20, 2003
Author: Dean Molen

I ended up spending the night before at a rest area on I-5 sleeping in the back of my Honda Accord somewhere north of Kelso. The next morning, I made the delightful drive on SR6 from I-5 to Pe El, stopping to inquire about the availability of a map of the Weyerhauser holdings. I had called Weyerhauser in Pe El and they said they sold maps of their holding locally but after I had stopped and tried to get one, I found that no map was available yet. No matter, the trip report posted by Bob Bolton was all I needed.

Following his information, I found the route to the bermed road easy (all the necessary gates are open due to hunting season). From the A-line gate off of SR6 (about 5 miles west from Pe El), it is 8.6 miles to the parking spot. Go 6.8 miles on the A line until you hit the F Line road, going left (up) on it as the A line drops down the hill. After a bit you'll pass through an open gate (hopefully) on the left and hit the little road that goes up to the right at 1.6 miles from the A line junction. The road to the right goes steeply uphill for 0.2 mile and you'll see the bermed road that goes left up to the summit of Pacific county. Park here.

A simple walk along this road (stay left at one junction) will take you right to the top. The stump with the plastic register bottle is easily found as it has a rock sitting on top of the bottle however, the register is in bad shape and moisture inside the bottle has made the paper very wet and won't last long. I'd hope that a future visitor might bring a new register container and keep this thing going. After all the rain and drizzle of the day before, the skies started clearing for me and this HP is a great spot to see in all directions as mentioned by Bob in his report. I checked my GPS and found that Wahkiakum's HP was only 8.6 miles southwest of me but no way to get there so I had to make the long trip around.

Driving back to I-5, I drove south to Kelso/Longview, took exit 40 and went west on SR4 to Cathlamet, about 22 miles from Longview. I then found the fish hatchery road west of town and drove the 12 miles of paved road to its end, where in just under a mile I found the same thing that Trapper and Roxanne had found, a BIG gate and it was locked. There were hunters all over but not one gate was open. Since I had no bike nor the desire to hike 22 miles round-trip (it was after 1 pm), I turned reluctantly around and headed back down the road. Since there is no way of knowing when they open their gates for sure, I will return later with a mountain bike to deal with this one.

This is the time of year to do Pacific County (hunting season) but do it on a weekend. The Weyerhauser roads are great and easy to drive but I'd still hate to meet a logging truck on them.