Edson Butte, Oregon Coast, July 2020

On Friday, July 3, Michael Berry and I hiked to the summit of Edson Butte in the Southern Oregon Coast Range. Edson Butte has only 2786 feet of elevation, but has 1866 feet of topographic prominence, making it the 91st most prominent peak in Oregon.

The Pacific Ocean and beaches to the west from Edson Butte summit.
The Pacific Ocean and beaches to the west from Edson Butte summit.

The route was a long hike on forest roads, some well maintained and others apparently not used or maintained in many years. There was some road work in progress higher and we encountered trucks hauling gravel from a quarry near the summit and returning for more. The weather was cloudy and misty in the morning but this cleared in the early afternoon and we got ample views of clearcuts as we hiked out from the summit.

Continue reading
Posted in Hiking | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

West Cedar Mountain, Arizona, April 2020

On Saturday, April 4, I left Tucson for a few days to visit three Arizona prominence peaks. After climbing Buckskin Benchmark on Sunday and the Date Creek Mountains highpoint on Monday, I drove onto the Agua Fria National Monument Monday afternoon and found a secluded camping spot a quarter mile from the dusty and busy Bloody Basin Road. I spend another pleasant evening and night there.

East Cedar Mountain (L) and West Cedar Mountain (R) from Bloody Basin Road
East Cedar Mountain (L) and West Cedar Mountain (R) from Bloody Basin Road

The next morning, Tuesday, I continued driving east on the dirt Bloody Basin Road towards my next and last destination for this trip, West Cedar Mountain. West Cedar Mountain has 1769 feet of topographic prominence and 5489 feet of elevation. It lies to the west of the Mazatzal Mountains across the Wild and Scenic Verde River, and has been on my “Wish List” for several years. I expected the hike, itself, to be fairly short, but two friends had previously hiked the peak and they reported a lot of thorny brush. I dressed defensively.

Continue reading
Posted in Hiking | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Date Creek Mountains Highpoint, Arizona, April 2020

On Saturday, April 4, I left Tucson for a few days to visit three Arizona prominence peaks. After climbing Buckskin Benchmark on Sunday I drove Sunday afternoon north towards the town of Congress. My goal for Monday was to climb the highpoint of the Date Creek Mountains. This highpoint has 1560 feet of topographic prominence and 4920 feet of elevation. Richard Hensley, one of my Arizona peakbagger friends, climbed this peak in November 2018 and provided good road access and route information.

The Date Creek Mountains Highpoint from the SE Canyon road
The Date Creek Mountains Highpoint from the SE Canyon road

Richard’s report included some emphatic cautions about his experience driving his Jeep on the access road all the way to his climbing route and suggested others consider a parking spot before the worse of it. I was ready to watch for road trouble as I drove in Sunday afternoon to find my evening campsite and tomorrow’s starting point.

Continue reading
Posted in Climbing, Hiking | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Buckskin Benchmark, Buckskin Mountains, Arizona, April 2020

About two weeks ago, Saturday April 4, I left Tucson for a few days to visit three Arizona prominence peaks. Two of the peaks had been on my “Wish List” for a few years and I hoped to finally visit their summits. My first goal was to climb Buckskin Benchmark, the highpoint of the Buckskin Mountains just south of Arizona’s Alamo Lake State Park.

Buckskin Benchmark and the Buckskin Mountains in early morning light from my campsite
Buckskin Benchmark and the Buckskin Mountains in early morning light from my campsite

Buckskin Benchmark is the 86th most prominent peak in Arizona with 1887 feet of topographic prominence and 3927 feet of elevation. Three friends of mine, Matthias Stender, Michael Berry, and Scott Peavy climbed it on December 17,2017. With their trip report and given my pace I expected a long day, but not any route difficulties.

Continue reading
Posted in Climbing, Hiking | Tagged , , | Leave a comment