Nestor Peak 22-Apr-09

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VanMarmot
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Nestor Peak 22-Apr-09

Post by VanMarmot » April 23rd, 2009, 7:32 am

With this year's persistent snow level, I was looking for a hike (a) I hadn't done before (b) was snow-free and (c) had a view. Looking through the hiking guides, I found Nestor Peak which is on the Washington side just across from Hood River (in fact you can see Hood River from its summit). Views were promised. And, for the botany crowd, its one place where you can find east Gorge Ponderosas mixing with west Gorge dogwoods.
There are about 2-3 miles of gravel/dirt driving to get there but, despite a mild warning in the guidebook about rough roads, it was no problem for my low-slung compact car. The trail to Nestor Peak is actually called the Buck Creek trail (going downhill takes you to a nice waterfall, going uphill takes you to Nestor). The route to the peak includes some logging roads, but is mostly trail which is pretty well maintained and very well marked.
1 Buck Ck Tr Head.JPG
This is the drier side of the gorge but there were a few orchids along the trail.
2 Orchid.JPG
After alternating between trail and road for about 2 miles, the route becomes all trail and starts climbing.
3 Nestor Pk trail.JPG
Soon the promised views started to happen. Hood was particularly prominant.
4 Hood.JPG
There is a large metal comm shack on the summit - one door had been kicked open but the other was locked. It made a nice wind break for lunch.
5 Summit Hut.JPG
The day started out sunny and mild but by the time I reached the summit, clouds were rolling in past Defiance to the southwest
6 Defiance.JPG
and shrouding Adams to the northeast
7 Adams.JPG
There were a few very minor snowpatches on the upper part of the trail but otherwise it was clear. Overall, a very good short (8 mi, 2100') hike in a botanically interesting area culminating in great views and a nice lunch spot.

wendyr
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Re: Nestor Peak 22-Apr-09

Post by wendyr » April 23rd, 2009, 8:39 am

Great report! I'm looking for a place to go this weekend in this area. Might I inquire how you get there?

cfm
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Re: Nestor Peak 22-Apr-09

Post by cfm » April 23rd, 2009, 8:53 am

Hey thanks VanMarmot, this has been on my to-do list recently.

I thought there was an intact lookout tower up there, bummer it's gone. Did you see any tower remains or benchmarks?

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VanMarmot
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Re: Nestor Peak 22-Apr-09

Post by VanMarmot » April 23rd, 2009, 11:21 am

wendyr wrote:Great report! I'm looking for a place to go this weekend in this area. Might I inquire how you get there?
You can field the details in the Afoot & Afield guide to Portland. Here's a summary (from memory, so probably best to get the guide):
Go to Hood River and cross the bridge
Left on 14 for about 2 miles then right on to 141 ALT
Take 141 ALT to 141 then left about 2 miles to Northwestern - a road that enters 141 from the left
Left on to Northwestern (starts as paved then goes to gravel after crossing the river) then left on Nestor Pk Rd
After about 1.5 miles go right and within 0.5 miles reach the trailhead

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VanMarmot
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Re: Nestor Peak 22-Apr-09

Post by VanMarmot » April 23rd, 2009, 11:23 am

cfm wrote:Hey thanks VanMarmot, this has been on my to-do list recently.

I thought there was an intact lookout tower up there, bummer it's gone. Did you see any tower remains or benchmarks?
No sign of a lookout, any foundation blocks, or a benchmark. Just the metal building, a large propane tank to the S, and some sort of covered sunken hatch to the NW. I'm surprised the building wasn't more trashed given that its door was kicked in.

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drm
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Re: Nestor Peak 22-Apr-09

Post by drm » April 24th, 2009, 7:16 am

Wow - this is the second time in about a week that I've learned of a new area right in my backyard from this site, the other being Rattlesnake Canyon and falls. I looked on my maps and Nestor Peak is on Washington state forest land, but the guidebooks I have don't mention it. I think that these state lands don't get as much attention from hikers as Federal lands. Maybe I'll try it out this weekend.

Seems like there might be another trailhead on its west side from the Oklahoma Road just north of Willard.

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