Augspurger Mountain (SE Ridge) 07-Dec-2011

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
Post Reply
User avatar
VanMarmot
Posts: 1923
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Augspurger Mountain (SE Ridge) 07-Dec-2011

Post by VanMarmot » December 7th, 2011, 5:36 pm

As much as I love the classic Gorge hikes, I'm always looking for new (to me at least) or different hikes. The "official" trail to Augspurger Mtn starts at the Dog Mtn TH and heads north (Augspurger & CCT). However, I heard tell that it's possible to reach Augsperger's summit from the road leading to the radio facility on its SE ridge. I had to check this out. I drove past the Dog Mtn TH on Hwy 14 to Cook, then headed N on the Cook-Underwood Rd. After about 2 mi, I turned left onto Bunker Keys Rd and parked at the 1700' level. It's a good dirt/gravel road all the way to the radio facilities, so I could have driven higher, but I felt guilty not hiking. I had come out from under the gloomy overcast at Cascade Locks, but the wind was still pushing clouds over ridges and into the valley.

Image

I hiked up the road to where it went under the powerlines, then followed smaller service roads under the lines directly up to the ridge. Adams spent all day calling attention to itself.

Image

When I got to the top of the ridge, the clouds were seething and boiling in the valley below, and occasionally being pushed over the ridge.

Image

There aren't too many hikes where it's this easy to calibrate your GPS.

Image

I was bracing for a thrash up the ridge, but was pleased to find a pretty good use trail - marked with can lids nailed to trees (arrow) - from the radio facility all the way to the summit. There were only a few spots where the trail was overgrown, vague, or buried in snow - otherwise it was easy to follow (this is why I didn't put this TR under "lost trails").

Image

The trail opens out into meadows from time to time, so I got plenty of views of Adams and Hood. This is looking toward the summit of Augsperger.

Image

There was some snow on the trail but nothing more than an inch deep - I only postholed when snow was covering a bush or gap in the rocks.

Image

There is nothing particularly "special" about the top of Augsperger - no views, no weird rock formations, no Sasquatch - and, despite the sun and clear skies, it was also pretty windy and cold.

Image

I retreated back down the ridge to get out of the wind for a break. From there, I could see Portland completely smothered in low clouds to the W,

Image

and Hood and Mt. Defiance poking above those same clouds to the S. You can see Hood and Defiance somewhat superimposed on each other from the top of Dog, but here I was far enough E to see them as separate summits.

Image

I retraced my steps to the radio facility and gave some thought to hiking over to Cook Pt - but it was enveloped in uninviting cold wind and clouds, so I headed down the service road. This road makes a long loop to the SE, so after about 0.5 mi I went XC straight downhill to cut out the loop and get back to the car sooner. A fun little hike (8 mi RT, EG 2800'), with some views you can't get elsewhere. It would be interesting to see what it would be like as a snowshoe (if it ever snows again :roll: ).

Image
Last edited by VanMarmot on December 8th, 2011, 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
weathercrazy
Posts: 1472
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Battle Ground, Washington
Contact:

Re: Augspurger Mountain (SE Ridge) 07-Dec-2011

Post by weathercrazy » December 7th, 2011, 5:48 pm

Very cool! Did you also see the new weather equipment?

User avatar
Peder
Posts: 3397
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Augspurger Mountain (SE Ridge) 07-Dec-2011

Post by Peder » December 7th, 2011, 6:26 pm

Bruce - I had actually thought of that as a 2 car hike, with the other car parked below Dog Mountain! Very cool with the clouds over the valleys and the volcanoes that seem to throne above a carpet of vapor. I can attest that there were no openings in the clouds today when seen from down below. :(
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

User avatar
VanMarmot
Posts: 1923
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Augspurger Mountain (SE Ridge) 07-Dec-2011

Post by VanMarmot » December 7th, 2011, 8:03 pm

weathercrazy wrote:Very cool! Did you also see the new weather equipment?
Sorry, can't say - I'm more familiar with comm gear and would probably not have recognized weather stuff even if I saw it.

User avatar
VanMarmot
Posts: 1923
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Augspurger Mountain (SE Ridge) 07-Dec-2011

Post by VanMarmot » December 8th, 2011, 6:34 am

Peder wrote:Bruce - I had actually thought of that as a 2 car hike, with the other car parked below Dog Mountain! Very cool with the clouds over the valleys and the volcanoes that seem to throne above a carpet of vapor. I can attest that there were no openings in the clouds today when seen from down below. :(
Peder - yes, it could easily be done as a 2 car hike. There's even a good parking area where Bunker Keys turns to gravel if one didn't want to drive off-pavement. Maybe after I get settled(?) in my new job?

User avatar
Peder
Posts: 3397
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Augspurger Mountain (SE Ridge) 07-Dec-2011

Post by Peder » December 8th, 2011, 6:45 am

VanMarmot wrote:Peder - yes, it could easily be done as a 2 car hike. There's even a good parking area where Bunker Keys turns to gravel if one didn't want to drive off-pavement. Maybe after I get settled(?) in my new job?
Well you may have to wait on me to finish some work and then snow might get in the way! I will send you a "Christmas" lists of possible hikes, then you will have something to dream about while you settle in at your new job! :D
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

User avatar
Born2BBrad
Posts: 959
Joined: May 1st, 2011, 7:26 pm
Location: The Dalles

Re: Augspurger Mountain (SE Ridge) 07-Dec-2011

Post by Born2BBrad » December 8th, 2011, 5:17 pm

VanMarmot, sounds like you are hiking like crazy lately. I seem to recall something about using up days before you start a new job.

There is even another super secret way to get to Augspurger mountain. I will provide a clue in the posted pictures.

Brad
Attachments
Copy of DSC00137.JPG
Park Here
Copy of DSC00193.JPG
Walk Up This Road

User avatar
VanMarmot
Posts: 1923
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Augspurger Mountain (SE Ridge) 07-Dec-2011

Post by VanMarmot » December 9th, 2011, 6:55 am

Born2BBrad wrote:VanMarmot, sounds like you are hiking like crazy lately. I seem to recall something about using up days before you start a new job.

There is even another super secret way to get to Augspurger mountain. I will provide a clue in the posted pictures.

Brad
Yes, I'm trying to squeeze in as many hikes as possible before the cubicle walls close in again next week.

Jackson Rd - maps from the 60's show it going all the way up past Cook Hill and connecting where the radio facilities are now with what is now called Bunker Keys Rd. More recent maps don't show it below the 2000' level. So it can still be followed? Cool - that would make for a 10+ RT, 3500' EG to Augsperger. It's going on my list.

User avatar
Born2BBrad
Posts: 959
Joined: May 1st, 2011, 7:26 pm
Location: The Dalles

Re: Augspurger Mountain (SE Ridge) 07-Dec-2011

Post by Born2BBrad » December 9th, 2011, 8:06 am

The road indeed takes you all the way to Augspurger Mt. There is only one place I have ever seen how to hike this trail/road. Some more key info:

After parking, hike back down the road to a little road with a field on the right. Hike up that road to a gate that says “No Trespassing”. Ignore that sign because the forest service owns this land which means we do also.

It took me three times to figure out where to go until I got better directions. Even on days where all other hikes are crowded, you will likely never see another person on this trail.

Enjoy it if you go and be dicsrete about spreading the word. Some places still need to be kept secret.

Brad

Post Reply