Thurston County High Point Trip Report

Quiemuth Peak (2,922 ft)

Date: July 6, 2001
Author: Andy Martin

A low cloud deck covered Seattle, but I got out from under while driving south, and it turned out to be a fine day. At Elbe you head south and then take the Pleasant Valley Road NW. Just as Alder Lake was reached a horrible calamity ensued - the paved road was solidly gated, and posted "closed Memorial Day to Labor Day". Still shell shocked, I parked the car, and started hiking six miles of perfectly good road. After 1/4 mile I came to my senses and scurried back to the car. Desperate times require desperate measures - I was going to have to ask for directions (!), and then attempt to navigate with the WA DeLorme (!!).

Back in Elbe my interrogations bore fruit, and it seemed FR 74 might save the day. This turned out to be a very long and rough dirt road, not really what Mr. Dollar had in mind for his rental. On the bright side, occasional views of Rainier from ridge tops were fantastic, and eventually I reached the side road leading to Quiemuth Peak. This road had low branches and mud puddles, and after the scratching and thunking noises became bothersome I parked the car.

Hiked up the road for about a mile to the end, where some sportsmen had camped, as evidenced by the piles of shotgun shells and used diapers. From here it is a steep but short uphill scramble to the ridge top. This would be nasty in the usual drizzle. On the ridge top bear left (west) to a stump, and then follow flagging through brush for perhaps 50 feet to a cairn and register. Saw John Mitchler and Jeff Howbert entries.

Etrex GPS reading, blocked by trees a bit:
(46 deg 45.834 min N, 122 deg 17.903 min W); elevation 2,870 feet.

The descent was uneventful, and I hustled back to the car. Any sort of mechanical problems on the drive out would lead to catastrophic towing expenses, so finally reaching pavement was cause for celebration.