Oregon Isolation Peaks, August 2018

Oregon has 27 peaks with at least 25 miles of topographic isolation. Each of these peaks are at least 25 miles from any other peak having higher elevation. Topographic isolation is another way, beyond highest elevation and most topographic prominence, to identify potentially interesting peaks to visit.

In August I visited two Oregon Isolation Peaks. I enjoyed exploring parts of Oregon I had never before seen, though the visibility was poor due to wildfire smoke.

Juniper Mountain

My Jeep parked beside Horseshoe Spring below Juniper Mountain

My Jeep parked beside Horseshoe Spring below Juniper Mountain

On Tuesday August 21 I visited Juniper Mountain east of US Highway 395 between Lakeview and Burns in southeast Oregon. Juniper Mountain lies in the Bureau of Land Management’s Lakeview District and is bisected by the Lake and Harney County Lines. It is accessible by driving rangeland roads east of US 395. Good tires are reassuring on these sometimes rocky roads.

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USA State Highpoints, July 2018

This past July I took a long road trip to visit 22 USA State Highpoints, the highest natural point of each of those states. This was part of my long-term project to visit the highpoint of every USA State.

Pamola Peak from Baxter Peak, Mount Katahdin

Pamola Peak from Baxter Peak, Mount Katahdin

I began visiting USA State Highpoints in 1977 with my first summit of Mount Hood, the highpoint of Oregon. In 1979 I summited Granite Peak in Montana, and in 1980 I summited Mount Rainier in Washington. Perhaps I accepted the challenge of visiting all the Western USA State Highpoints in 1986 when I summited Gannett Peak in Utah, Boundary Peak in Nevada, and Mount Whitney in California. The states east of Colorado did not have any interest to me then, and the western state highpoints provided me plenty of challenge.

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Patagonia Mountains, Arizona, April 2018

Last Wednesday, April 11, I led a hike of Veterans Peak and Mount Washington in the Patagonia Mountains for the Southern Arizona Hiking Club. The Patagonia Mountains lie just north of Mexico east of Nogales. Mount Washington is the highpoint of the Patagonia Mountains with 7221 feet of elevation. It is also the 104th most prominent peak in Arizona with 1709 feet of topographic prominence.

Veterans Peak appears high on the left from Forest Road 61

Veterans Peak appears high on the left from Forest Road 61

Tucson was predicted to be at record temperatures Wednesday. I met June, Bill, Jane, John, and Roxanna early in the morning. We drove south through Sonoita to the town of Patagonia. From there we followed forest roads south into the Patagonia Mountains. We parked at about 6000 feet elevation and climbed a steep unmaintained but obvious trail south towards Veterans Peak.

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Huachuca Mountains, Arizona, March 2018

On Saturday, March 31, I led a hike of three peaks in the Huachuca Mountains for the Southern Arizona Hiking Club. The Huachuca Mountains are prominent range lying immediately west of Sierra Vista, Arizona. Our goals were to summit Huachuca, Lyle, and Peterson Peaks.

The southern Huachuca Mountains from Huachuca Peak summit

The southern Huachuca Mountains from Huachuca Peak summit

June Meyer, Bill and Jane Hiscox, and Jeff Brucker rendezvoused with me early in the morning and loaded into my Jeep. We drove south through Sonoita and past Parker Canyon Lake to follow forest roads to the trailhead. On the drive towards Parker Canyon Lake we spotted pronghorn, deer, and turkeys. With that start to the day I wondered if we might encounter a jaguar later on the hike.

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