7.4 miles
4,553 feet
Out & Back

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washed out

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Access to Pompey Peak is from a number of places but for this hike it's from FR 2304 in Randle. Alternatively FR 20 to Jackpot Lake/Castle Butte on Hwy 12 (the most direct) or from FR 55 via FR 23 in Randle can be used.

Take FR 25 from Randle and turn left (east) onto FR 23. Continue east for 3.5 miles on FR 23 and turn left (north) onto FR 2304. At 3.3 miles, stay right at the "Y" and continue uphill to the trailhead at end of the road.

FR 2304 is WASHED OUT and IMPASSABLE 2.5 miles after the "Y" (at The Left Fork of Owens Creek), 5 miles from the TH. Effectively, this is the new TH. Plan on 6.5 miles to the summit, 13 miles RT.

I started from the washout. What's a 5 mile walk on a dirt road anyway. Easy? Well, it wasn't quite that easy. The road was completely overgrown and in someplaces it didn't look like a road. It's narrow in places. There are about 8 other washouts severe enough to stop the road if it hadn't already been stopped. There were blowdowns throughout. Heavier, denser and more often near the end. At times the going was slow trying to find a route through it all. Some could easily be walked around others required yoga moves. I highly suggest gaiters, pants and boots for the whole rode. I turned around about a half mile before the trailhead. I left late in the day, wasn't prepared for the blowdowns, the distance, the time and didn't bring enough food or water and still managed to get in a 10 mile hike. On the bright side, there was a nice viewpoint of the Cowlitz Valley and Pompey Peak around the half way mark.

Accessing via FR 20 from Hwy 12 might be a better way although I haven't done it yet. I think I'll do it again just so I can complete it.