Wahkiakum County High Point Trip Report

BM Huckleberry (2,673 ft)

Date: November 2, 2002
Author: Bob Bolton

After unsuccessfully attempting a different approach the previous Sunday, I went back for another try. I followed the Elochoman River road to "Camp 2", and the gate was open for hunting season. The gate on road 700 was also open, and I hoped that I could drive all the way to the summit. However, at the eastern switchback on road 700 there was a locked gate. The GPS said I was 3.97 miles from the HP. Not being a biker, I had borrowed my daughter's mountain bike, and what a huge help that was. As I was nearing the HP I suddenly remembered that I had left the maps in the car (Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources "Astoria" map plus the Topozone.com printout for the area). The DNR map had great and easy-to-read details on the roads, and the Topozone map is correct for the needed roads. Having studied them carefully last weekend, I decided that the GPS and my memory could get me up OK. Sure enough, I didn't make a single navigational mistake, and arrived at the HP area in good time. From the radio facility it looked like the high ground was on the little ridge to the north next to the road. I easily found the highest point and the benchmark.

Directions: From just west of Cathlamet on SR4, turn right on Elochoman Valley Road and drive it roughly 12 miles (don't remember the last milepost I saw). The first gate is just past the end of the pavement, if I'm not mistaken. After a bridge, find road 700 on the left and follow it. Soon you will come to a junction where it looks like the main road goes up the hill. The uphill road is number 710, although the DNR map says it's road 720. This is a rather steep shortcut that I believe all passenger cars can handle, and it cuts off quite a bit of distance. If you'd rather stay on a more level road, stay left here and follow 700. If you take 710, follow it to where it Ts with the "long-cut" 700 (it uses a fork T, take the right fork). This T is at that eastern switchback on 700 which I mentioned above. If you stay on 700 instead of using 710, follow it northwest up the valley, around a broad switchback curve back to the east-southeast, then to that same eastern switchback where 710 connects. If the gate is locked there is plenty of good parking, elevation 1,700+ feet, if I remember correctly.

On clear days like I had, there's a great view of Mt. Rainier from this parking area. Since this road is an old railroad grade, it is very gentle and good for mountain biking. To find the HP, stay on 700 until it crosses the saddle on Huckleberry Ridge. At the saddle you can go either northwest (didn't catch a road number) or east on 700, and you want to go northwest. (I didn't notice the road number, but the DNR map says 500, which doesn't make sense because the river-bottom road below is numbered 500.) The gate was closed here also. Follow that road a short distance to a junction and turn left (south, and again I didn't notice a road number sign, but the DNR map says 780). Follow this a short distance until you reach a 4-way junction. Turn right up the hill and follow this road to the summit.

I started from the car on the mountain bike soon after 2PM and returned by around 4:30. I walked only that last road to the top as it was too steep for me on the bike.

GPS coordinates (46.36848° N, 123.34727° W)