Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tower Mountain - Umatilla County

Hiking the highest peaks in all of Oregon's 36 counties
#21-Umatilla County-Northeastern Oregon-Tower Mountain-6,850 feet

Eastern Oregon is gorgeous. Isolation is the word here. The nearest 'city' to to this county high point is La Grande and it's 50 miles away.
See the short film:

Hike Length: 4 miles Hike Duration: 2 days
Hike Configuration: Two day out and back Blaze: double track
Start Elevation: 6,340 feet Elevation Gain: 510 feet
Hike Rating: Easy
Trail Condition: Snow in mid-November
Starting Point: North side
Trail Traffic: Saw NO one else
Access: I initially wanted to approach from the south at Big Creek Meadow Campground but early season snow prevented that. I instead approached from the north from Hwy 244. It's all public land so no permits are needed.
How to Get There:
From Pendleton: Take US 395 South to Ukiah. Turn left heading east on Hwy 244. After about 17 miles, Look for the Tower Mountain Lookout right turn heading south NF 5226. On a good day, you can drive about 11 miles right up to the summit. The road is pretty manageable for a regular auto. I went as far as was reasonable, parked and hiked the last few miles.

The other approach is from Ukiah taking NF-52 to Big Creek Meadow Campground. It's then a 5 mile hike up from the south.

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