Wahkiakum County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: November 6, 2004
Author: Tom DeRoo

I got lucky and found the lower gate on road 700 open on Saturday, November 6, 2004.

About two weeks earlier I had driven to the road 700/mainline road junction and found the gate locked. There wasn’t enough daylight left to attempt the reportedly 22 mile round trip on foot so I resolved to return some day at an earlier hour, ready for anything.1

So I was pretty pleased when I found that I could drive up to the eastern switchback on road 700 at about 1730’ elevation. There were 10 large pickups parked near the gate.

It was opening day of elk season. I learned from the hunters that this upper gate was never open to the public anymore. The lower gate at the beginning of road 700 was only open to the public during modern firearm elk season, which typically lasts only 9 days, from the first Saturday in November through the second Sunday in November.

So that’s a pretty short window if your desire is to reduce the approach hike or bike for this county highpoint to something easy.

That also explains why the lower gate was open for Bob Bolton (first Saturday in November) and Dean Molen (second Sunday in November) but closed for Trapper Robbins and Adam Helman.

The upper gate is at milepoint 5.9. (Road 700 is marked with mileposts every ˝ mile). I hiked road 700 to milepoint 10.4 at the junction with road 770. I followed that road to the junction with road 825, then followed that to the 4-way junction and turned right. This unlabeled and seldom used road leads directly to the old radio towers.

The summit benchmark is about 150’ north of the apparently abandoned radio facility on a small hilltop. The words "Hucklebery" and "1952" are stamped onto the benchmark. The road hike is pleasant during good weather like that which I enjoyed. I was able to see Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams.

The hike in took 1 hour and 45 minutes, coming back out took me 1 hour and 30 minutes. If you can drive to the upper gate, then the remaining approach roads are perfect for a mountain bike. Be sure to wear fluorescent orange.

1 The webmaster now feels a little better about abandoning his attempt the previous Monday: misery loves company when faced with a 22 mile hike in the rain. See his trip report for the dismal details. He personally thanks Tom DeRoo for clarifying the seasonality of the lower gate.