On Friday, August 23, Linda and I drove up Pine Creek Road on the east side of the Elkhorn Mountains of northeast Oregon. My intent was to hike Cougar Pond Southeast Peak, an unofficially named peak in the nearby Elkhorn Mountains. Linda’s intent was to ride her mountain bike back to our campsite in the Baker Valley, then ride her road bike on a loop out of camp. It had been four years since I last drove this steep, rocky, and narrow road. I was glad to have my high-clearance, 4WD Jeep.
Linda wondered why I had suggested she ride down on such a treacherous road. The previous day I had thought she would enjoy exploring this nearby part of the Elkhorn Mountains but this morning I wondered whether I had made a such a good suggestion.
On Sunday, August 4, I hiked and scrambled up Broken Top South Peak in Central Oregon’s Cascade Range. This is the obvious, but not officially named peak 0.34 mile south of the actual summit of Broken Top. It has 454 feet of clean prominence and 9094 feet of elevation. It is most easily accessible from the Broken Top Trailhead which requires a high clearance vehicle to reach.
The Broken Top Trailhead is very popular since it provides access to the scenic “No Name Lake” below the east face of Broken Top. The parking spaces at the trailhead were full when I arrived, but I found parking beside the road nearby.
On Saturday afternoon, June 23, I rendezvoused with three peakbagging friends, Caleb Morris, Michael Berry, and Michael Wanberg above the confluence of the Illinois and Rogue Rivers. We then drove to our campsite deep in the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest. We had come to climb Big Craggies, a peak with only 4619 feet of elevation, but 2099 feet of topographic prominence and the 63rd most prominent peak in Oregon.
Sunday morning we got an early start and drove to the end of a minor forest road. That put us on a west ridge that led east over Green Craggie and Peak 4150 towards Big Craggies.
On Thursday, April 18, Linda and I and our dogs parked our trailer beside the Barnhardt Trailhead road and camped below the crest of the Mazatzal Mountains south of Payson, Arizona. We were boondocking, which meant we had no hookups but did have a lot of room for ourselves, dark nights, and little vehicle noise from AZ Highway 87 about a mile away. Our nearest neighbors were about half a mile away. We spent two nights camped there. Linda spent Friday morning mountain biking from our campsite up to the Barnhardt Trailhead. I spent Friday climbing nearby Mazatzal Peak.
From our campsite Mazatzal Peak rose directly to the west. Its summit was visible high on the left side of the peak. Suicide Ridge gently descended from it to the right then dropped steeply down towards the Barnhardt Trailhead further right.