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Bunker Hill Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Bunker Hill rises above a meadow (cfm)
Take this hike after the first rains of the fall to collect chanterelles (cfm)
Old growth slope, Bunker Hill (bobcat)
Looking east from the viewpoint, Bunker Hill (bobcat)
Route via the PCT to the summit of Bunker Hill (bobcat)
  • Start point: Trout Creek Trailhead (PCT)Road.JPG
  • End point: Bunker Hill Summit
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 5.8 miles
  • High point: 2,383 feet
  • Elevation gain: 1310 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Year round
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

The Bunker Hill Trail is a short spur trail that branches off the Pacific Crest Trail near Wind River in the small town of Stabler-Hemlock. Since the PCT crosses several roads in this area, there are many options for including this in an out and back hike, a shuttle or a backpacking trip. Bunker Hill itself is a 20 - 25-million-year-old igneous plug that rears above the Wind River valley. Most of the other volcanic features in the area are much, much younger: West Crater, for example, is only 8,000 years old. Bunker Hill is forested with one good viewpoint before you reach the summit, a former lookout site now hemmed in by conifers.

This description is for a 5.8 mile out and back trip beginning at the Trout Creek Trailhead. The starting point is where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses Forest Road 43. Take the trail heading east, opposite the substantial footbridge over Trout Creek. The first half of the trail is flat and travels through an open old growth forest, passing a part of the Wind River Experimental Station's field plots. After a mile and half, you cross gravel Road 417 at a hairpin turn, and enter the large grassy meadows below Bunker Hill (This is another possible trailhead, but you can't park right where the PCT crosses the road). Coyote and elk can be spotted in the meadow on early mornings, and their signs are evident year-round.

The trail goes across the meadow into an alder woodland, and soon the elevation change begins. After half a mile, the forest is again dominated by Douglas-fir, and you will come to the signed Pacific Crest-Bunker Hill Trail Junction. The left fork is the Bunker Hill Trail #145; the right fork is the continuation of the PCT which reaches Szydlo Road in a mile, and then continues to cross the Wind River. Head left at the fork uphill for another 1.2 miles via ten switchbacks to reach the summit of Bunker Hill. You'll encounter numerous old-growth Douglas-firs on the way up and the steep slopes host a substantial deer population.

Instead of taking the trail all the way to the top, at the last switchback, look for an obvious rock pinnacle which provides a great viewpoint to the northeast up the Wind River Valley and all the way to Mount Adams on a clear day. From here, you can easily scramble up the ridge westerly to the summit, which is completely forested. The true summit is the site of a former lookout, and five cement blocks remain to indicate its presence, however there are no views here.

Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Wind River, WA #397
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Adams Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Gifford Pinchot National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams

Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • None

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks

  • Washington's South Cascades' Volcanic Landscapes by Marge and Ted Mueller
  • 95 Virtual Hikes of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument by Northwest Hiker
  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • Hiking Washington's Mount Adams Country by Fred Barstad
  • Day Hiking: South Cascades by Dan A. Nelson & Alan L. Bauer
  • 33 Hiking Trails: Southern Washington Cascades by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • Washington Hiking by Scott Leonard
  • Pacific Northwest Hiking by Scott Leonard & Sean Patrick Hill

More Links

Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.