Oregon Mountain
Peak 4,377ft P1K
Wells Mountain P1K
Hoosimbim Mountain

Wed, May 6, 2015
Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPXs: 1 2 Profiles: 1 2

Continued...

I would have liked to spend another day doing a longer hike to one or more of the higher peaks in the Trinity Alps, but I had to be back in San Jose the same evening which would include a 5hr drive. I thought I would use the half day I had available to tag a few lower P1Ks that needed to be scratched off the list - there would be more time for the Trinities as the snow melted and summer arrived. I wish I could report these as exciting hidden gems, but that would be a lie.

Oregon Mtn / Peak 4,377ft

This pair of summits is located SW of Weaverville. There is a private community west of Oregon Summit that would provide easier access to both summits were it not heavily signed for No Trespassing. In all likelihood no one would bother to stop you if you just drove in, but I wasn't feeling confident when I explored that option earlier and decided to look for another way. I found it on the NE side of Oregon Mtn off dirt Democrat Gulch Rd. I had spent the night parked just off the road, drawing the attention of a few rural residents who slowed down to check me out, but not of sufficient interest to bother stopping to investigate. In the morning I was up and on my way by 6:30a, using my bike to follow an old OHV route now only used by the occasional motorcyclist. A patchwork of BLM lands, private forest lands and the private community's property is confusing enough to discourage most public usage. Much of the uphill sections were too steep to ride. Rather than abandon the bike, I resorted to pushing it uphill, expecting the route between the two summits to be rideable as well as the downhill return. It took about an hour of pushing/riding through forest to reach the more open grassy slopes near Oregon's summit, home to an array of communication towers. Because it isn't even 4,000ft in height, the views are limited to the immediate area around Weaverville.

The higher Peak 4,377ft is almost 2mi SSW of Oregon Mtn. It was a nice downhill ride to Sweepstake Flat and then further towards the second summit until I reached a small clearing at the end of the road just east of Pt. 1,263.5m shown on the 7.5' topo map. A much older logging road continues south from here and I initially attempted to follow it pushing the bike, but it was too overgrown to make good progress. I left the bike here and continued on foot. It was not long before I abandoned the road altogether as it was too overgrown with small trees and brush. I climbed steeply up the embankment to reach the crest of the mountain north of the summit. From here, easy cross-country under forest cover leads to the summit area. A bit of bushwhacking leads to a rocky outcrop with poor views that appears to be the highest point. Rather disappointing.

I went back to retrieve the bike, rode back through Sweepstake Flat and then began to explore an alternate return route that would save me the trouble of going back over Oregon Mtn. This was a mixed bag, the majority of which made it a weak choice. It started off well but was descending the wrong side of the mountain. I needed to get back to the east side and found a junction with an old logging road. This led around to an old, collapsed cabin with a rusty bedspring lying atop the pile. It's probably been 70 or more years since that cabin last stood upright. From here, I ended up pushing the bike up the ridgeline for a quarter mile to reach the OHV road I had taken initially. Luckily the ridgeline was fairly open and there was no brush to fight with in addition to gravity. Once back on the road, it was an easy 15min to get back to the start.

Wells Mtn / Hoosimbim Mtn

These two summits lie south of SR3 between Douglas City and Hayfork. Once again, land ownership is far from obvious. The topo maps shows both on Forest Service lands, but others show differently. There may be inholdings or perhaps land swaps in the past, but it seems that logging interests control most of what goes on in this area. At Hayfork Summit, located along the highway between two summits, is a short turnoff that allowed me to park and access an OHV motorcycle track that leads steeply up Hoosimbim's North Ridge. Hoosimbim is just a bonus on the way to the P1K, Wells, with the route I selected going up and over the one on they way to the other. From the starting point, Wells is about 3mi distance, a relatively short outing even without the bike, which was a good thing since the initial ridgeline is exceedingly steep and I put the bike back in the van soon after discovering this. It is not a scenic or pretty hike. There are some views to be had along portions of the route, often where clearcuts have left open sections of forest. As I hiked up the ridgeline I crossed over several quite servicable logging roads not depicted on the topo map or my GPS. I suspect these are newer roads to help with the harvesting efforts in this area. These roads might be used to more easily reach the summits, but where they originate or go is hard to guess. The NE side of Wells was recently logged (or raped, depending on your enviro-leanings), leaving it denuded. From the top of Wells one can look south into the Chanchelulla Wilderness, with the summit of the same name dominating the skyline in that direction. I found Wells' summit to be at the far north end of a short summit ridge. Hoosimbim's summit is a brushy pile of rocks among some trees, less interesting than Wells. I spent just under 2.5hrs on the effort, not seeing another soul - probably a good thing...


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