Wildcat gravel pit to Huckleberry Mountain

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greenjello85
Posts: 485
Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:31 pm

Wildcat gravel pit to Huckleberry Mountain

Post by greenjello85 » July 23rd, 2018, 8:27 pm

I decided to go for a hike 7/20/18 after work. I decided on the Wildcat trailhead because it's close and went to the viewpoint on Huckleberry Mountain. I haven't seen a report on this route so here it goes.

The trail is in remarkably good shape with new signage. Basically this hike follows ridgelines the whole time so a lot of up and down without much overall EG. Ended up being around 12.5 miles and 2500 EG on backcountry navigator. There are nice wildflowers early in the year and quite a bit of wildlife. I spooked several pairs of grouse, heard a ton of songbirds, moved a snake, and usually see deer (not today).

The trail winds its way through an old gravel pit which seems to be seeing less and less ATV's/ shooting. Enter a nice maturing forest that is beautiful with green and has some cool boulders. Arrive at the first viewpoint overlooking the Eagle Creek drainage. I love all the old gnarled trees on the cliff.

Continue on through open forest and rhododendrons before arriving at the Mcintyre ridge trail. Stay on Douglas trail and pass wildcat mountain trail on the right. Not much of a view these days. Continue downhill to an open spot on the ridgeline with great views north and south. See Jefferson, Adams, Hood, and St. Helens as well as unique views of the old cascades. There's decent wildflowers on most of the open spots earlier in the year.
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A bit more forest hiking and reach the intersection with the Plaza trail (AKA boulder ridge on some signage). Head north. Shortly there is a nice view of head and user trail heads uphill to a mini meadow mountain top with some views. Back into the forest with many tiger lilies and a scattering of this other lilly? I also had the laziest snake encounter ever here. He refused to move on the chilly morning and I ended up having to pick him up and move it off the trail. It would just puff up and slither its tongue!
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Three Headed Tiger
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Snake
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After a bit I passed along a talus slope that had a nice rock outcropping on the top. I backtracked a bit and scrambled my way to the top for some more views of Hood, Salmon Butte, and Devils peak on hunchback.
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I continued on the steep ridgeline to the intersection with the bonanza trail. Stay straight on what is now signed as boulder ridge (I thought it was plaza until where the now abandoned plaza trail would head down to welches??). Pass an open area on the ridge with more views. Continue to the viewpoint on Huckleberry and enjoy the view. I only passed one other person the entire time.
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squidvicious
Posts: 177
Joined: May 11th, 2015, 8:41 pm

Re: Wildcat gravel pit to Huckleberry Mountain

Post by squidvicious » July 26th, 2018, 8:34 am

I was out that way yesterday and saw a bobcat on Wildcat Mtn Rd.

I like my universe organized like that.

greenjello85
Posts: 485
Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:31 pm

Re: Wildcat gravel pit to Huckleberry Mountain

Post by greenjello85 » July 26th, 2018, 1:44 pm

squidvicious wrote:
July 26th, 2018, 8:34 am
I was out that way yesterday and saw a bobcat on Wildcat Mtn Rd.

I like my universe organized like that.
Oh cool! I've only seen one for a split second on 63 up the collawash. I've seen several coyotes on wildcat and scat from all sorts of creatures on the trail.

nsutherl
Posts: 26
Joined: October 11th, 2015, 4:41 pm

Re: Wildcat gravel pit to Huckleberry Mountain

Post by nsutherl » July 31st, 2018, 2:43 pm

Great report! This is an area I recently discovered and will most definitely be taking more trips here.

You mentioned not seeing any other reports in this area, but check out my trip report from 3 weeks ago!

greenjello85
Posts: 485
Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:31 pm

Re: Wildcat gravel pit to Huckleberry Mountain

Post by greenjello85 » August 1st, 2018, 3:32 am

nsutherl wrote:
July 31st, 2018, 2:43 pm
Great report! This is an area I recently discovered and will most definitely be taking more trips here.

You mentioned not seeing any other reports in this area, but check out my trip report from 3 weeks ago!
Thanks! I did see your report, it looked fun! It's great to get some more boots in this area :) I meant that I hadn't seen any on this particular route. Trying to give people ideas for day trip destinations to get more people into the area. Cheers!
Dan

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