Elkhorn Peak, Wallowa Mountains, Oregon, September 2017

On September 16 Caleb Morris and I climbed Elkhorn Peak in the Eagle Cap Wilderness and Wallowa Mountains of Northeast Oregon. Caleb and I met a few years ago through our shared interest in exploring the highest and most prominent peaks of Oregon. Caleb has a full life with work, family, and climbing but is generous in sharing his knowledge and experience with others and I enjoy sharing a climb with him when we can.

The South Gully of Elkhorn Peak from the Copper Creek Trail

The South Gully of Elkhorn Peak from the Copper Creek Trail

I am aware of three Elkhorn Peaks in Oregon, one each in the Cascade, Elkhorn, and Wallowa Mountains. This Elkhorn Peak is the highest and most prominent of the three. It is the 21st highest peak in Oregon with 9233 feet of elevation and the 94th most prominent peak in Oregon with 1860 feet of prominence. It is located far up the Lostine Valley south of the town of Lostine and its summit provides great views of the Wallowa Mountains.

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Siskiyou Prominence Peaks, Oregon, June 2017

In late June Linda and I and our canines established base camp at Lake Selmac in the SW Oregon Siskiyou Mountains. Linda found several bicycling routes to explore in the area while I hiked several Siskiyou Prominence Peaks. The canines enjoyed the new scents of the area but were glad to leave for the open Ponderosa Pine forests of home by the end of our visit. Before this visit the mountains I planned to visit were just names on a map. By the end of the week they each made an impression on me and I left the area with memories and a better appreciation of the Siskiyou Mountains than I had before.

Grayback Mountain

Grayback Mountain from Kerby Peak

Grayback Mountain from Kerby Peak

My first goal of the week, on Tuesday June 20, was Grayback Mountain, south of Applegate, Oregon. Grayback Mountain is the high point of Josephine County, Oregon with 7048 feet of elevation. It is also the 49th most prominent peak in Oregon with 2248 feet of prominence. Tuesday morning I drove up the Thompson Creek Road south of Applegate, then took a forest road to the Upper O’Brien Creek Trailhead. The last mile was a bit eroded but the drive in was not a problem for my Jeep.

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Silver Peak, Southeast Arizona, April 2017

On Saturday morning, April 23, I left my dispersed campsite along Pinery Creek and drove over Onion Saddle to the east side of the Chiricahua Mountains to hike Silver Peak. As I crested Onion Saddle and began my descent I observed the steep peaks and ridges and deep valleys below me in the morning light. This view curiously reminded me strongly of the North Cascades of Washington State. I descended into Cave Creek Canyon near Portal, Arizona, and parked at the Silver Peak Trailhead.

The east face of Silver Peak from low on the Silver Peak Trail

The east face of Silver Peak from low on the Silver Peak Trail

The Silver Peak Trail leads from the floor of Cave Creek Canyon to the summit of Silver Peak, the site of a former lookout. Silver Peak is the 72nd most prominent peak in Arizona with 2008 feet of prominence and 8008 feet of elevation.

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Cochise Head, Arizona, April 2017

On Saturday morning, April 22, I met Michael Berry at the entrance to the Chiricahua National Monument. From there we drove into the Monument and spent the rest of the day hiking and climbing Cochise Head in the northern Chiricahua Mountains.

Cochise Head from Massai Point, Chiricahua National Monument

Cochise Head from Massai Point, Chiricahua National Monument

Cochise Head is the 83rd most prominent peak in Arizona with 1913 feet of prominence and 8113 feet of elevation. It is located just north of the Chiricahua National Monument. I visited the monument the previous afternoon and observed Cochise Head from Massai Point.

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