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Tomlike Mountain Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Summit of Tomlike Mountain from the approach (bobcat)
Mud Lake from Tomlike Mountain (bobcat)
Sulfur buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum) on Tomlike Mountain from the approach (bobcat)
Wahtum Lake from the Anthill Trail (bobcat)
The loop hike to Tomlike Mountain shown in red (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: National Geographic Topo
  • Start point: Wahtum Lake TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Tomlike Mountain
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Reverse lollipop
  • Distance: 6.8 miles
  • High Point: 4555 feet
  • Elevation gain: 1565 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Summer into Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes, for older kids
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

Tomlike Mountain is the high point on Woolly Horn Ridge, a treeless prominence between the East and West Forks of Herman Creek. An unsigned user trail, minimally maintained, leads to the summit from the Herman Creek Trail near the Herman Creek-Anthill Trail Junction. The ridge is one of the largest open areas in the Columbia Gorge and views are expansive. Tomlike has been considered as a possible reintroduction site for mountain goats.

The route described below is one of the shorter approaches to Tomlike and includes a loop around Wahtum Lake. For a much longer approach of just over 20 miles round-trip, you can begin the hike at the Herman Creek Trailhead;

From the Wahtum Lake Trailhead, drop down Trail #406H (Wahtum Lake Express) and sign in at the Wilderness Permit station. At a junction, keep left: the horse trail is to the right. Enter the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness. These are old growth stands of mountain hemlock, noble fir, and silver fir. The trail heads down many steps. Near Wahtum Lake, reach the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail. After visiting the lake, head east (right) here above the lake shore.

Springs trickle down onto the trail, which rises in lush woods but is well-drained. There are some huge noble firs here. Pass through a Sitka alder clearing and cross a dry stream bed. The trail keeps ascending gently in drier woods with a bear-grass and huckleberry understory. Drop, cross a creek, and rise gently to the Pacific Crest-Herman Creek Trail Junction. Here, go right. The trail rises in woods of noble fir, silver fir and bear-grass. Keep left at the Herman Creek-Rainy Wahtum Trail Junction. Enjoy the avalanche lilies blooming along the trail in mid-summer. Drop gradually to reach the junction with the Anthill Trail and keep on the Herman Creek Trail for another 40 yards. Then turn left into the woods on the unmarked Tomlike Mountain Trail. There may be a small cairn at the latter junction.

Head into the woods. The trail is obvious here. At a junction, go right (Left is the long-abandoned West Fork Herman Creek Trail). The use trail keeps to the eastern edge of the ridge. Reach a rocky viewpoint and keep to the right. There are views of Mount Adams and also to Mud Lake below. Head up over a rocky knoll and down among stunted whitebark pine, noble fir, silver fir, and common juniper. Pass across an open area and reach a line of trees where a cairn marks the throughway. Looking back, you can see Mount Hood. Ascend up around the left side of an andesite prominence and then head up to the right and reach the ridge line. Small cairns mark the way. There is a cleared pathway through a band of stunted whitebark pine. Then, ascend an open slope and through a final band of very small pines. The trail winds up on loose rock and reaches a narrow ridge. Hike along the ridge and pass a wind shelter at the actual summit. Take in the views of Mount Hood, Mount Adams, Chinidere Mountain, Tanner Butte. You can hike along the ridge farther from the summit to explore Woolly Horn Ridge.

Walk back to the Anthill Trail Junction and go right. The trail heads up in huckleberry, silver fir, noble fir woods. Avalanche lilies carpet the forest floor in July. Exit the wilderness and cross the abandoned, lupine-covered Wahtum Lake Road at the Anthill-Rainy Wahtum Trail Junction. The trail keeps rising. At a clearing, there is a view of the top of Mount Adams and Tanner Butte. Make a traverse above a large talus slope and get a great view of Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Tanner Butte, and Wahtum Lake. Now begin to drop along the ridge. At another talus slope, there’s a view of the lake again. Continue to descend along below the ridge crest all the way down to the restrooms and parking area.


Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Bonneville Dam, OR #429
  • Green Trails Maps: Columbia River Gorge - West #428S
  • Geo-Graphics: Trails of the Columbia Gorge
  • Discover Your Northwest: Mt. Hood National Forest North
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Hood River Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Hood National Forest

Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • Northwest Forest Pass required at trailhead

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Day Hikes in the Columbia Gorge by Don J. Scarmuzzi
  • Day Hiking: Columbia River Gorge by Craig Romano
  • Columbia Gorge Hikes: 42 Scenic Hikes by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • 70 Hiking Trails: Northern Oregon Cascades by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • 62 Hiking Trails: Northern Oregon Cascades by Don & Roberta Lowe

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.