Peak 5,265ft 2x P300
Limestone Ridge 2x
Hayfork Divide 2x P1K
Peak 6,275ft 3x
Hayfork Bally 2x P2K
Farmer Ridge South P300
Farmer Ridge P300
Peak 4,960ft P500
Shake Ridge
Barker Mountain 2x P1K
Peak 5,558ft P300
Peak 4,691ft

Fri, Oct 27, 2023
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 4 GPX
Peak 5,265ft previously climbed Thu, Oct 26, 2023
Limestone Ridge previously climbed Sat, Oct 24, 2015
Hayfork Divide previously climbed Sat, Oct 24, 2015
Peak 6,275ft previously climbed Thu, Oct 26, 2023
Hayfork Bally previously climbed Thu, Oct 26, 2023
Barker Mountain previously climbed Sat, Oct 24, 2015


This was the only full day I had on this short roadtrip. I'd come to the area to ascend the "new" Hayfork Bally, a P2K whose highpoint had shifted by 1/3mi due to more accurate LiDAR measurements that had become available. Half of the summits I visited today were repeats, some done the previous day, but this was not by plan. Road work on the paved road through the area had me scrambling for alternate ways around the blockage.

Peak 5,265ft

I had spent the night camped atop this summit. Stat padding led me to log it as a second ascent the next morning.

Limestone Ridge - Hayfork Divide

I drove back down the Jeep trail to paved FR16 and attempted to exit east to Big Creek Rd. A logging employee stopped me a few miles short of the junction, saying the road was closed ahead for a few hours to allow some salvage logging, a result of the large swathes of forest burned in the 2021 fire complex, one of the largest in the state. My plan, now foiled, was to drive to the east side of the Big Creek drainage to tag a number of peaks in that direction. Looking for alternate routes on the topo map, it seemed I might be able to use the Hayfork Divide Jeep Trail to make an end run around the north side of the drainage. I drove back up the road a short distance to a junction and then took 33N57 north up to a saddle on the divide, just west of Limestone Ridge. Here I found that the Jeep trail was now more like an OHV trail. I drove the first part up the steep West Ridge, topping out at the summit. It was more than a little hairy and I dared not continue driving any further. This route would not work well in the Jeep, too wide for what the trail is maintained for. I would have to go back down, but since I had some time to kill, I decided to make the pleasant hike between Limestone Ridge and Hayfork Divide, a little over a mile to the NNE. I had done both of these years ago on an earlier visit. I would spend a bit under an hour and a half on the effort, following the continuing OHV trail between the summits with fine views off either side. At Hayfork Divide's summit, I left a register under a small pile of rocks, took some pictures of the views, and then headed back.

Peak 6,275ft - Hayfork Bally

I drove back down to FR16, only to find that the road was still closed and the estimate for opening still several hours in the future. At this point I was getting low on gas and would need to refuel before heading up to the summits I had planned for the day. I would have to reverse much of the route I had used to reach Hayfork Bally the previous day (tagging both Peak 6,275ft and Hayfork Bally along the way - more stat padding), a circuitous way to get back to Big Creek Rd. Once back on the pavement, I drove to Hayfork for gas, then east on SR3 to Barker Creek Rd which I could drive back up to the higher elevations.

Farmer Ridge South

Barker Creek Rd becomes dirt and then turns into Forest Rte 33N84 where it turns away from the creek. It climbs steadily up the forested slopes, staying to the east of Farmer Ridge. Where it reaches a saddle north of Farmer Ridge South, I turned south to follow an old road (high-clearance needed) a short distance up the NE Ridge. This road hasn't seen much use, certainly not by larger vehicles, and I stopped before things got too nasty. It didn't really save any time in the end. It took only 10min to find my way to the summit through some easy cross-country. There were some summit rocks in the partially burned forest with poor views where I left a register before returning the same way.

Farmer Ridge

I continued driving north on 33N84 for about a mile, to another saddle, this on the north side of Farmer Ridge, higher than its southern neighbor by a few hundred feet. This was a slightly longer outing through forest more thoroughly burned than the last summit. I left another register here.

Peak 4,960ft

More driving north led to another junction where I took 32N25 east around the south side of Barker Mtn, to a multi-way junction at a saddle on the SE side of Barker. I turned SE and followed 32N37 and then a spur road that goes to a small telecom installation at Peak 4,960ft's summit. The highpoint is found among some rocks on the edge of a small pocket of trees just to the east of the installation. Pretty easy, this one.

Shake Ridge

Shake Ridge is about 1,000ft lower than Peak 4,960ft, and almost 2mi to the SE. I thought I could drive nearly to the summit, but got stopped by a locked gate about 1.5mi short of the target. There are pockets of private logging interests throughout the forest, and this had a gate to keep vehicles out. Later I learned there is an easier way to get to this summit via 32N04 from SR3 to the south. I hadn't done much hiking, so didn't mind the hour-long chance to stretch my legs on an easy road hike. A firebreak runs up the north side of Shake Ridge from the road, making it a brush-free affair. The summit has little prominence and is nothing special.

Barker Mountain

There were another handful of summits to the north of Barker Mountain, so I drove back up several miles of road I'd already driven, then took 32N02 northeast to return to the Hayfork Divide north of Barker Mountain. I'd been to this P1K eight years ago, but figured it was a freebie on my way to the others. I followed the spur 32N12 which switchbacks up the northeast side of the mountain, greatly improved since I was last here. The improvements were to allow large trucks to drive to the new telecom installation that is going up on the north side of the summit ridge. There were No Trespassing signs but no crews, so I simply drove up to the work site and started from there. It took less than 10min to find my way along the ridge to the forested summit. A John Vitz register from 2014 was still there, along with my signature from 2015 and a few additional pages of entries since then. This easy summit has gotten easier with the extension of the road and improved grading.

Peak 5,558ft

This summit lies about a mile NNE of Barker Mtn. 32N02 (also called Dog Run Springs Rd) passes near the summit on its west side. An old spur road, no longer driveable, goes up to the summit. An old car tire filled with rocks sits at the summit among burned snags with partial views off most sides. I left a register inside the tire before returning the same way.

Peak 4,691ft

The decent 32N02 ends about a mile further north, around the north side of Pt. 1,605m. My driving fun turned sketchy as I followed an OHV trail down the northeast side of Pt. 1,605m, shown on the topo as a Jeep trail. I had to pause at a hairpin turn to figure out how to negotiate it. Backing up would have been nightmare, but luckily I was able to get through the obstacle and continue down the narrow track across an unnervingly steep slope. After about a mile I reached the multi-way junction where the very well-graded Big Creek Rd goes over the Hayfork Divide. I turned southeast onto 33N48 which I could follow about a mile to the northwest side Peak 4,691ft. This area had been badly burned in the 2021 fire, leaving few trees still alive. This made for easy cross-country, though fairly steep. I came across an old road that might still be driveable, but after that last bit of driving I was happy to walk what would make for another challenging drive. I found my way to the rounded summit in about 15min, took a photo and headed back down. No obvious place to leave a register here.

It was 4:45p when I returned to the Jeep. I drove back to Big Creek Rd, hoping to continue north on the Hayfork Jeep Trail to reach a few additional peaks in that direction. The Jeep trail has been bulldozed to keep vehicles off and I would have to walk it if I was to use this route. I decided to call it a day and camp right there. The road sees little traffic and I would be able to sleep quietly at one of the nearby turnouts.


Submit online comments or corrections about the story.

More of Bob's Trip Reports

This page last updated: Mon Nov 6 13:33:47 2023
For corrections or comments, please send feedback to: