The last day of this 4-day roadtrip had a trio of P1Ks planned in the Six Rivers
National Forest, south of SR299. The main roads through the area are very good,
several of them paved, but it's a long drive from the highway to get to any of
the P1Ks. I decided to make a day of it, tagging whatever other summits I could
find in the area before returning to the highway and then home. It turns out
there are quite a few summits along the route and I managed to tag most of them
in a display of shameless stat-padding. Though the hikes tended to be short,
they were often quite steep, usually cross-country, and the collection gave
quite a workout. I actually enjoyed the random walks through the forest more
than I had expected I would. None of them had any sort of real bushwhacking,
and I only saw poison oak in a few places, never much to worry about. Oh, and
no ticks today, a bonus.
Bug Creek Butte
This was the most interesting of the day's peaks, the longest hike, and the
furthest from the highway. I had driven to the start
the evening before, getting to
within about 2mi of the summit before the road I was following turned into a
motorcycle track. The last two miles of driving were high-clearance, but up to
that point (labeled "Brays Opening"
on the topo map) the road is paved. In the morning, I followed the
motorcycle track through the forest heading west as it drops down onto
connecting ridgeline between Bug Creek Butte and Board Camp Mtn. Upon starting
down to one of several saddles along the ridge, one gets only a
fleeting view of forested Bug Creek Butte in the distance. The views of
it improve as one goes along, but the peak itself is rather dull. The ridge is
the interesting part of this hike, a mix of brush, flowers,
grassy slopes and unvegetated sections. The motorcycle track
goes about halfway along the ridge before veering off to the northwest through
the woods. To the south is the Mad River drainage, filled with fog this
morning to make for a tranquil scene. There are some rugged crags on
the south side of Bug Creek Butte and to the north are some surprising
grass-covered hills that mark a sharp contrast with the surrounding forest and
brush. The second half of the hike is a cross-country effort, but by taking my
time to look for openings and following animal paths, I could pick my way along
the ridge to discover the various surprises found along the way. Where the ridge
was choked with brush, the north side offered bypasses through more open forest
cover. The summit had a USDA benchmark from 1933 with open views to
the south but otherwise blocked by surrounding trees. I left a register
here under a small pile of rocks I collected, then headed back. It was 9a by the
time I returned, having spent about 2.5hrs on the effort.
Board Camp Mtn
The summit is only a quarter mile from where I had camped and a drive-up, though
the last several hundred yards are a bit brushy. There is a clearing to turn
around near the summit, with the final couple hundred feet on foot through an
overgrown path. There are some concrete footings found at the highpoint
with a fire ring and rather poor views due to brush and trees.
Kinsey Ridge runs north from Board Camp Mtn with paved Forest Road 1 going
within 20ft of the highpoint. This part of the
ridge is outside the national forest and owned by a logging concern which has
done extensive logging in the area. Rather unexciting summit.
Spike Buck Mtn
This P1K is found about half a mile east of Forest Road 1, also owned by the
same logging concern. Spur Forest Rd 5N18 goes east from the pavement around
the north side of Spike Buck Mtn. The gate at the pavement was open, allowing me
to drive within 1/5mi from the summit. A steep climb up from
the northwest got me to the summit in about 10min. No views on this
one, but I left a register since it is a P1K.
This flattish summit is located about a mile SSW of Spike Buck, outside the
national forest. There is a locked gate on the spur off Forest Road
5N04 about 1/3mi from the summit. I walked the road to the summit only
to discover several
pickup trucks, voices, and what looked like plant stakes in a collection
of bins. An active grow site? I turned tail and left before being spotted or
finding out what was going on up there. The satellite view shows the lookout
tower no longer there.
Located about 2mi NE of Spike Buck, this one makes for a pleasant hike. An
old road (no longer driveable) goes nearly to the summit from paved
5N01, about a mile distance. Hunters appear to maintain the road as
a use trail, clearing brush on this quiet stretch of road. Only the
last few hundred feet are cross-country, going steeply up to
a wooded summit with limited views. The east side of the summit
drops off steeply with a decent view through the trees.
This is found about a mile east of the Ammon Ridge summit. There is an
old ranger station located at the saddle between the two points, just
off the pavement. I parked on the nearby circular concrete (heli?) pad,
walked by the two boarded up cabins and a gravesite, then
headed up to less than half a mile away through forest
understory. Zero views here, but at least it was an easy hike. On the way back
I dropped south to the old road found on that side and walked it back
to the cabins. One might be able to drive this road to get
a closer start to the summit.
The excellently maintained (but unpaved)
Forest Rd 6 goes through the saddle between Sims Mtn
and Sims Mtn East. A rough spur road (4N36B) gets one to within a few hundred
feet of the summit on its northeast side. A steep cross-country climb
goes up to the surprisingly open summit with 180 degree views
looking south and a small,
rocky outcrop for the highpoint. John Vitz had visited the summit 7yrs earlier,
but I found no register (as is usual for him). There was a small circle of rocks
that looks like it may have held one at one time.
Now there's a new one.
Sims Mtn East
Less than half a mile from the higher Sims Mtn, this one takes roughly the same
effort. I parked on Forest Road 6 just west of the summit and went up
steeply from there to the top which also has a small rock
outcrop, this one with views looking east and south.
This unnamed point is the unofficial third summit of Sims Mtn, about half a mile
NNE of Sims East. There is an old cut going up the southwest ridge to
the summit with no views, making it easier than it might otherwise be.
About a quarter mile each way from Forest Road 6 where I parked.
Though the highpoint has no views and is buried in forest duff, it does sport
more than 750ft of prominence. Spur Forest Road 6N06D, no longer driveable,
forks off the pavement and is still quite useful on foot. A use trail
has developed, leading one to within several hundred feet of the summit on its
north side. From there, steep cross-country through forest understory leads to
the highpoint. A bit disappointing, but I left a register
This one is a short distance north of Hogback Ridge and very similar - short
hike through forest understory, no views. I did admire some
of the large trees that somehow managed to escape the chainsaw over
the past century. It was after 4p by the time I finished up. After a
much appreciated shower, I still had more
than six hours of driving to get home. A long day, this one...