Walla Walla County High Point Trip Report

Lewis Pk (4,888 feet)

Date: April 1, 2001
Author: Barney Metz

There was still a fair amount of snow in the area and due to the conditions of the roads I gave up trying to record distances while driving in the snow. You can reach this point by either heading south on US 12 from Waitsburg or north on US-12 from Walla Walla. You will approach Minnick, which is just one corrugated steel silo on the highway. There is no sign for the town of Minnick, but it is well marked as the Lewis Peak Road. This is paved for a short drive and then becomes a county gravel road.

You will pass Clancy Road, Mud Creek, and Seaman Road. At this point you will be heading into the timber. There are MANY private drives in the area. Make no 90 degree turns off this road as most of the private drives are not marked as such You will come to a junction where you will see three roads and all are heading uphill. This can be seen on the topo map link on the COHP site. This juncture is just about 340 meters to the west of BM 4055. I confirmed this as the road to Lewis Peak by some turkey hunters who were out scouting. You need to take the road off to the far right, heading south. I tried the middle road before I ran into the hunters and followed it to the next "T", it will be obvious if you go this far that this is not the right road by reading the topo map according to the terrain. I went back to the three-road juncture and went south on the road heading towards BM 4462.

I eventually became stuck about 400 meters north of the BM. From there I hiked the road until I came to a blue gate. Past the gate another three or four hundred yards I believe I found the cable with the no trespassing sign that John Roper mentions. At this point I followed the snowmobile trail to the top of Lewis Peak. There was three feet of snow in the protected areas and drifts up to 10 feet high near the crest of the peak. The snow pack was pretty well frozen and made for not having to break crust. However, the ice on the snow made for very slippery going. The snowmobilers had tied numerous beer cans to a snag at the top. I believe the top has been logged since John has been to the top but if so, all the stumps were buried under the snow. It was snowing hard with high winds. After making sure I covered a fair amount of the open top, I headed back down to dig my truck out.